Being grateful is not just a desirable personality trait or a hokey new age hippie idea, nor should it be limited to the day of the year we give thanks for that bountiful feast; this positive emotion is actually good for your health!
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude has many positive benefits to our physical and emotional health and has been linked to better overall health and well-being, fewer instances of anxiety and depression, better relationships and sounder sleep.
Gratitude can even result in an improved immune system and higher morale when it comes to working with others to accomplish a goal. One of the biggest benefits is that it serves to help people cope with stress that can lead to heart disease, cancer and a host of chronic illness.
If you’re the type of person who finds yourself frequently complaining – often without even realizing it, how do you turn your attitude around?
Be mindful of all of the things you have to be thankful for
While you probably won’t change overnight, just by incorporating the daily habit of creating a list of everything you’re thankful for will immediately boost your mood and allow for a greater sense of positivity.
Many people focus on their worries and everything that might go wrong in any given day, but in reality, for most of us there are far more positive events if you just take the time to recognize them. Keeping a journal that lists just five or ten things that made you smile each day is enough to make you feel more optimistic and happier.
It’s the little things in life that make most of us happy; perhaps seeing a beautiful sunset – and the sense of sight you have to view those colors, the excited way your dog greets you when you return home, that cute little thing your child did, or the savory taste that comes from the first juicy bite of fresh fruit – and your ability to taste it.
Practicing gratitude with others
Many of us take family members and close friends for granted. Try to remember to say or do one small, unobtrusive thoughtful thing for at least one of them each day. Saying “thank you” for the little things they do like listening to your day at work or making coffee for them in the morning will not only make them feel better, you’ll reap the benefits too.
What are you grateful for today?