What is Gratitude?
Just what is gratitude and why does it seem to be more and more the centre of conversations when talking about health & wellness.
Gratitude ….the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
So it seems by the definition that more and more people are finding that the practice of being thankful & showing appreciation has so many health benefits.
Benefits of the practice of Gratitude
Who would have ever guessed that being thankful in our lives for so many reasons would actually help make us better as an individual, better employees, experience deeper more meaningful relationships & ultimately have a more positive outlook on life.
Here are some of the scientific findings of what happens when people practiced gratitude;
- Better nights sleep
- Increase in self-esteem
- Mental stability/well being
- New relationships & restoration of broken relationships
- Better nutrition
- More energy
- Less irritability & more compassion & understanding for other
- Less envy & jealousy of others
- Counteract depression & suicidal thoughts
- Better cardiovascular health
There are more but can you BELIEVE it! This is a pretty long list of great benefits just for being THANKFUL!
If you ask me this is the cheapest therapy there is out there today.
Putting it into Practice
When I first researched this a few months ago & discovered all the benefits, I started practicing right away. Was it easy? It’s not that it’s easy or hard, the challenge is, it’s just not in our human nature to do such a thing.
Let’s be honest, we as humans can be pretty selfish & often entitled. There are many times I just take things for granted, example; there is food in my fridge, or, I am able to see, touch, smell hear and taste….who would think that our five senses are something to be grateful for? Right?!(sarcasm:)
How & where do we start?
The best times to practice gratitude are first thing in the morning and right before bedtime. It’s like resetting your grateful clock every day, morning and night.
Being grateful for at least three different things each day is a great start. If we can’t think of at least three, we’re in deep waters & perhaps grabbing a friend or loved one to coach you is a great idea.
You can speak these three things out loud & even better, you can write them down, this is now your chance to purchase that fancy dollar store journal.
A tangible thing you can do to practice gratitude is to volunteer. This is a HUGE one for me, I was practising gratitude for years and didn’t even realize it. Serving others freely with no strings attached or recognition is a great way to show gratitude because it not only blesses you, it’s a two way street of blessing others as well.
When to Start
NOW! There’s no better time. I started back in June & I will admit it’s definitely not consistent as much as I would like it to be, but I’m definitely better than I was. I’m more cognitive of my behaviour as well & I am not moved as much by the actions of others. It just really humbled you & keeps you grounded.
Have you ever been going through a storm in your life and thought this can’t get any worse?, then all of a sudden you find yourself having this inner conversation in your head; “somebody else is going through worse than me, so I need to stop worrying & be THANKFUL for what I have, it could be worse! Did you know that is GRATITUDE? It sure is, gratitude also puts things into perspective and builds an appreciation for what we have in this moment, in the bad times and the good times.
So before you grab your phone first thing tomorrow morning when you wake up, try practicing gratitude by thinking of, then speaking out loud three things you are GRATEFUL for!