Gratitude is important because it is a powerful thing and we’re just scratching the surface when it comes to discovering the various mental and physical effects it has on us. Let’s look at a few of those to give you an idea of what you can expect if you start to make feeling gratitude a daily focus.
The Mental Benefits Of Gratitude
Practicing gratitude helps your overall mental health because you instantly have a better outlook on life. Don’t be surprised to walk away from your latest gratitude meditation or session with a big smile on your face. Of course the benefits don’t stop at increased happiness. Feeling more gratitude has been linked to a better self-image, less anxiety and even a reduction of depression. This comes as no surprise to scientists who have recorded increased levels of dopamine and serotonin after intentional gratitude meditations.
The Physical Benefits Of Gratitude
This is where it gets interesting. It’s one thing to feel better emotionally, but the release of these “feel-good” hormones affects your physical body as well. Gratitude reduces stress and with it, you’re sleeping better, your blood pressure lowers, and you have more energy. As a result, you move more, leading to even better overall physical health. Maybe your gratitude exercise motivates you to go out for a walk, getting more oxygen into your body and loading up on Vitamin D. Being able to sleep soundly reduces appetite and less stress helps you make smarter food choices. All these things work hand in hand to turn you into a healthier and stronger version of yourself.
Gratitude is particularly important for heart health. Between the lower blood pressure and reduced stress, you are putting less strain on your heart. The added exercise and sleep strengthen your heart muscle and give this most important organ time to recover and heal overnight. There’s never been a better time to practice gratitude and let go of stress.
How can you tap into both the mental and physical benefits of gratitude? By feeling more of it. Remember gratitude is a feeling. A great place to start is by creating a habit of thinking of at least one person or one thing you are deeply grateful for each morning, that has happened in the last 24 to 48 hours, as soon as you wake up. It sets the tone for the whole day and gets you off to a great start to reap the powerful benefits of gratitude.
Over time as you practice gratitude gets easier and easier to do! Before you know it you’ll be sending someone a thank you, appreciate the food you are eating more, appreciating what you already have or have achieved. As you do gratitude every day your brain begins to look for things to be grateful for. Give it a go! Let me know how it works for you!
Nadine Hanchar helps individuals and businesses build better relationships, discover new choices, new perspectives, and create success. Nadine is a counsellor, consultant, speaker, and trainer with over 35 years’ experience helping others professionally. She is a bestselling author and specializes in working with trauma, abuse, relationship issues, and communication. Learn more at ProgressivePlus.com and connect with Nadine on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
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