Did you know that studies have proven that gratitude can increase happiness, reduce depression and strengthen resiliency? People with gratitude often experience lower blood pressure, less chronic pain and even longer lives.
Of course there is no magic button to remove someones physical ailments and those things are very real and challenging to many people so I don’t mean to downplay those whatsoever. That being said, this study shows that there is a deep rooted connection between the mind and body and our overall attitude can immensely effect how we feel physically.
Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness….but it’s more than that – it’s a way of life when you can perfect it.
When you allow yourself to walk your path coming from a place of gratitude, it changes the way you see the world and the people in it. It takes your view from an inward perspective and turns it outward.
If you’re never someone who’s given any thought to these types of emotions, I do realize that this may sound like a bunch of hippy mumbo jumbo and I can say that because…I was that person! If i’m being completely honest, at times I still am! It’s definitely a process when it comes to changing the way you’ve been conditioned to think. Hello! Why do you think therapists get paid so much!? We humans are not that easy to fix!
I encourage you to try this 30 day gratitude challenge. Each day, find something you are thankful for and say it out loud. That last part is really important because saying it out loud does two things – speaking affirmations out loud are a great way to re-wire your brain and it creates a healthier and positive reality.
Some people like to do this challenge at night before bed but for me, I choose first thing in the morning because I find it helps me start my day off in a positive way.
When you first start this, it WILL be difficult and you may find yourself saying things that seem meaningless like “I’m thankful for chocolate ice cream” (yum!) but that’s okay because it’s about the habit, really. Once you re-wire your thinking process, your perspective will start to change almost without you noticing.
It really does work! Choosing to say positive things out loud first thing in the morning versus picking up your phone and scrolling mindlessly through Facebook updates (most of which are negative) will impact you dramatically.
If you need help, you can always follow along a gratitude calendar. There are tons of free resources online but I’ll post one in here for you so you have it.
Give it a try. It’s going to feel weird at first but most new things do. It may also feel like it’s not making a difference but commit to the 30 days and I’m willing to bet by the end, you’ll be able to notice a shift in how you see things. It’s a not a magic fix – crappy things will still happen but when they do, perhaps you’ll be able to see past them a little clearer with a new attitude of gratitude!