Saying "Thank You" Improves Your Health. How To Start Your Gratitude Practice
Here at mbg, we're big practitioners of gratitude. It's the key to enjoying the gifts in life and surviving the challenges that come your way. Dr. Lawrence Rosen rounded up some of the many benefits of gratitude: In eight different studies, gratitude was shown to reduce feelings of depression. It worked best when people chose to think optimistically and reframe events and situations in a positive way. It lessens anxiety and can be helpful for those suffering from severe conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It improves sleep, which in turn has a positive impact on mood. And anxiety. And just about everything. It improves overall cardiac health, both indirectly through improving mood and attention to positive health behaviors like fitness and nutrition as well as directly through reduction in inflammation. It strengthens memory. For elderly adults, practicing gratitude was shown to improve their overall sense of well-being and quality of life. Introducing more gratitude into your life is a powerful way to pursue your goals in the new year without focusing negatively on what you lack.
Start your own gratitude practice
- Sit and acknowledge how you feel in the moment. Don't pressure yourself to label your thoughts as anything other than they are.
- Focus on the aspects of your life that bring you happiness. Hold them in your mind and say thank you for each item.
- Focus on the struggles in your life. Say thank you for the unexpected gains they've led you to. Perhaps they've shown you your own strength or they've brought you closer to loved ones. Now say thank you for the hardships, themselves, not the silver linings. They may offer you gifts you've yet to uncover.
- Sit in silence for five minutes, meditating on the words "Thank you."
- If you feel yourself holding tension, thinking negatively, or overwhelmed by sadness during your day, return to the mantra "Thank you." Repeat the words to yourself slowly as you breathe deeply.
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