We’ve all heard that an ‘attitude of gratitude’ is more desirable than not, but did you know it also comes with a dose of healthy benefits too? According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that feeling grateful can:
How exactly does this work, you say? At the risk of sounding ‘nerdy’, let me share with you what I found out: When we have a thought, it creates an electromagnetic and neuroendocrine signal that causes our organs and muscles to react, brain chemicals to respond, and our glands to secrete hormones like cortisol. So our thoughts literally cause our bodies to change (www.drjamiephd.com). In other words, when you THINK, your brain sends signals to your body based on the emotional reaction you have to your thoughts. Pretty wild, eh?
It’s exciting and sometimes a bit daunting to realize our thoughts affect our health, but once you wrap your head around it (pun intended) it’s one of the easiest remedies in town. Let’s talk about a few ways to incorporate gratitude in our everyday life. If left up to chance we’d easily forget to make this a priority in our everyday life, so if you’re new to Mindful Gratitude’, start by putting it on your calendar. Most people are ‘internet’ calendar driven, so put a daily reminder on your calendar to specifically acknowledge being grateful for at least (5) things every day. You can also repeat this practice at bedtime, sandwiching the beginning and end of your day with grateful thoughts and ideas. Imagine the kinds of positive messages your body will receive by doing this!
Next, get creative about how you express gratitude. You can direct heartfelt comments to a loved one or someone you appreciate. When you do this, be specific and let the person know exactly what you’re grateful for. This is a great way to boost your own health and the health of others, by sharing gratitude. Another way to foster gratitude is to select a daily topic, for example nature, music, foods, people, experiences, things that make you laugh, holidays, etc… Selecting something different everyday helps broaden your gratitude muscle, and in doing so you’ll find there are neverending sources to draw from.
If you enjoy journaling, take a moment to write it down. Something interesting happens when we journal, we are actually rewiring our brain and shifting our attitude with each stroke of the pen. And on days you don’t feel like journaling, review your previous notations. You might find remembering things you were grateful for increases your appreciation, which increases the positive effects on your health and wellbeing.
You may also consider what part of your health would benefit the most from positive daily affirmations of gratitude and create specific messages for what ails you. For example:
powerful principals can be simple and easy. I challenge you to invest the next 30 days by applying these simple principles into your daily life. Then, document what you experience. Notice what gentle changes you notice in your overall happiness and wellbeing. Notice what pleasant unexpected surprises life brings you. And, if you’ve focused on a certain ailment, notice what has shifted in that arena as well. You may not experience monumental change in 30 days, but you will certainly get the momentum moving in the right direction. And, who knows? Thirty days just might change your life!
I’m profoundly grateful to you for reading this and I’m sending light and love to lift you into a new level of health and happiness, simply by being even more grateful.
Nancy J Chase
Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist