Gratitude is important to our overall health.
Here are 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude.
- Gratitude opens the door to more relationships
- Gratitude improves physical health
- Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression
- Grateful people sleep better
- Gratitude improves self-esteem
- Gratitude increases mental strength
These are all great benefits of gratitude! Let’s talk about how gratitude improves physical health a little more.
A study done at Berkeley reported that in 186 patients, more grateful people reported better sleep, less fatigue, less depression, more confidence in their ability to care for themselves, and lower levels of systemic inflammation(immune response that can have negative effects on the body, including the cardiovascular system). These are all great things to work towards, but how exactly can this be accomplished?
Here are a few gratitude exercises and activities that may be known to you but have been proven to help you practice and enhance your gratitude.
Journaling – Write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. Morning is usually the best time to do this. You can journal daily, every few days, or once a week. The idea is to write down the good things that happen to you within a given set of time. The key is to make it work for you.
Gratitude Rock – Sounds corny, but it’s not. The rock can be pretty, smooth, or from a special place. You could even wear it on a chain around your neck. It is a symbol, a physical object that can remind you to be grateful. Leave it on your desk where you’ll see it throughout the day. At the end of the day, the rock can remind you of your day and encourage you to journal. If you want to use somethings other than a rock, that works too.
Gratitude Walk – Taking a gratitude walk can be therapeutic. But when you combine it with meditation and thinking about the thing’s you’re grateful for, walking can combat stress and increase feelings of wellbeing. Observe the things around you as you walk. Be aware of nature, colors, sounds and smells. A gratitude walk with a partner or a friend is even better!
Smile More Often – Enough said.
Live Mindfully – Don’t worry about the past or the future.
Say Thank you- Say thank you out loud for all the little things that are done for you each day but which we often ignore. Things we often take for granted.
There are so many things one can do to show gratitude. The good news is that it’s never too early or too late to become a grateful person. So, start implementing gratitude techniques today to set yourself up to be a happier person with a more fulfilling life.