Practicing gratitude is good for your health

Gratitude is defined as ‘the state of being grateful, thankfulness.’  In Step 1 of this journey, we began to notice the stream of complaints and criticisms that pass through our minds and feature in our conversations.  For many of us, it comes as a shock to notice just how frequently we complain.  Now that we have begun to curtail our whinging and moaning, it is time to start to notice, and then talk about, what we are grateful for.  Step 2 is practicing gratitude.

The impact of gratitude on our lives

Gratitude research suggests that the benefits of gratitude extend to our physical health, psychological well-being, and our relationships with others.  People who regularly practice gratitude are physically healthier, with stronger immune systems, lower levels of inflammation, lower blood pressure and less fatigue.  They sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking, they generally adopt healthier habits and are more likely to take care of themselves.  Psychological benefits include being happier, more optimistic, and feeling more joy and pleasure.  Grateful people are less materialistic, less likely to suffer from burnout, experience less depression, and are more resilient following traumatic events.

Relationships are strengthened, as those practicing gratitude aremore helpful, generous, kind, compassionate and forgiving.  Workplace studies indicate that gratitude may help employees perform their jobs more effectively, feel more satisfied at work, and act more helpfully and respectfully toward their co-workers.  Research in educational settings suggests that more grateful adolescents have improved moods, are more interested and satisfied with their school lives, are kinder and more helpful, and are more socially integrated.

Sign me on I hear you say!  Where do I begin?!

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, USA, provide a quiz to discover your current level of ‘gratefulness’.  When you have completed it you will be given your gratitude score, learn about the benefits of gratitude and find resources for cultivating more gratitude in your life. Now you have some insight into your base level of thankfulness.

Now take a moment to reflect….. What are you grateful for, in this moment? Really think about all the things you are grateful for. Electricity, four walls around you, your computer, breathing, eyesight, carpet, family, friends, safety, food, a bathroom, a hot shower, coffee, a cup of tea, chocolate….. Next week we will discover some gratitude practices which will actually rewire your brain and start a cycle of appreciation and increased joy in your life.


https://jimkwik.com/kwik-brain-047/  How Gratitude Rewires Your Brain podcast notes.

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_gratitude_is_good/  Why Gratitude Is Good by Robert Emmons

Summer Allen, Ph.D. 2018, The Science of Gratitude A white paper prepared for the John Templeton Foundation by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, May 2018 https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/images/uploads/GGSC-JTF_White_Paper-Gratitude-FINAL.pdf?_ga=2.193413997.1328848572.1595909297-15522232.1583787463


The Path to Inner Peace

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Experiment with peaceful habits, along with us, and let me know about your experiences. Together we can make a positive difference. Our intentions, thoughts, words and actions matter!