Its been a week or so since THANKSgiving yet I just can’t stop being thankful for everything around me. Think I am just a lucky person? Well I am, but I have also been practicing being thankful or full of gratitude to better my health and self.
That’s right, scientists are finally starting to research this stuff and are finding that gratitude is good for us. “Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress” states the UC Davis Emmons Lab.
The basics on practicing gratitude….think of at least one thing you are grateful for. It could be something big (waking up next to someone you love) or small (the gal you get your coffee from each day). The key is that you take a moment to feel it, mean it.
Other ideas…try it as a pause before meals, try writing a few things you are thankful for down to make a gratitude-journal, get a gratitude email pen-pal (this is what my friend started doing with me- its wonderful to read his email each day with 5 things he is grateful for and then respond with 5 of my own), add something you are grateful for to a post-it at home or at work.
Other resources…I love the articles and newsletters from Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center (“the science of a meaningful life”) and another friend just turned me on to “Awakening Joy” a 5 month long online course on happiness that focuses heavily on gratitude.
I am so grateful that in this day and age we can realize that good health is not just a number on a scale or how many miles we can run or even a lack of disease but also how bright our spirit shines and how we feel about ourselves and others around us.