Have you ever heard of a gratitude journal? It's a place where you record what you are grateful for in your life. It doesn't have to be anything dramatic. I add five things to my journal every night that I'm grateful for from that particular day. It helps me to go to sleep in a good mood which allows my subconscious to set me up for a good start to the next day.
Don't think you have anything to be grateful for?
Did you wake up in a nice warm bed after a good night's sleep? Do you live in a safe place with plenty of clean water to drink and healthy food to eat? Are you healthy and able to move your body the way you want to? Do you have a good job that gives you financial security? Do you have family and friends who love you and whom you love? You have plenty to be grateful for.
Gratitude is one of the most researched emotions and there is plenty of evidence proving its power.
- Being grateful can make you happier. If you look for what's good in your life instead of what's going wrong, you will develop more positive feelings about your life and yourself.
- Being grateful can help to reduce symptoms of depression. Depression generally makes the depressed person focused mostly on self but being grateful forces the person to look outward to who or what they are thankful for, taking the focus off of self.
- Being grateful can increase your resilience. When you look at the good things in your life, you can see past the immediate problem to the bigger picture and bounce back more quickly.
- Being grateful can improve your self esteem. When you feel grateful for what others do for you, you feel loved and appreciated which makes you feel better about yourself.
More surprisingly, gratitude can improve your physical health too.
- Being grateful can improve your sleep by activating your relaxation response. Alternatively, negative emotions will activate the fight or flight response so it makes sense that sleep comes more easily to the grateful heart.
- Being grateful helps to lower stress. Practicing gratitude can help to reduce cortisol production, a stress hormone, and to increase production of DHEA, which promotes physiological relaxation.
- Being grateful may make you exercise more often. If you are grateful for the healthy body you have, you are more likely to want to take care of it.
- Being grateful helps to reduce pain. Positive emotions have an analgesic effect by triggering the release of naturally occurring endogenous opioids. Grateful people are less sensitive to pain and have a higher threshold for it.
- Being grateful can help to lower blood pressure. Negative emotions will cause blood vessels to constrict, thereby raising blood pressure.
- Being grateful can boost the immune system. Practicing gratitude has been known to stimulate the increase of immunoglobulin A, which is the first line of defense in fighting off viral infections.
- Being grateful helps you to live longer. Optimistic, positive people are generally known to have longer life spans.
There are many other reasons to be grateful. It will never hurt and it may improve your life in ways you never would have expected.
As a health coach, I work with women who are facing serious health challenges like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes or who have been diagnosed as having a precursor to a serious health issue such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar. I help them make food and lifestyle changes so they can get healthy, live longer and enjoy a fuller, happier, more energetic life. If you would like to have a free consultation about the health challenges you have and the improvements you would like to see in your health, click here to schedule a no strings attached call.