At it’s core, gratitude is an affirmation of goodness. When we take time to be grateful, we affirm that there are good things in the world… beauty in nature, warmth and love in relationships and abilities and opportunities we have in our everyday life.

Gratitude is recognizing that goodness can come from outside of ourselves. We acknowledge that other people, places and situations bring many gifts, big and small into our lives.

Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present. It helps us to live in the moment and magnifies positive emotions.

Gratitude brings perspective and objectivity to more “difficult to feel” emotions,  such as envy, resentment, regret.  Rather then allowing these emotions to weigh heavy and keep us stuck in the mire, gratitude neutralizes the intensity of these emotions and allows us to explore what messages these emotions have for us and how they can inform our path going forward.

Grateful people are more resilient, more stressresistant. Studies show that in the face of serious trauma, adversity, and suffering, if people have a grateful disposition, they’ll recover more quickly.

Grateful people have a higher sense of self-worth. When we notice a network of people, past and present, who have supported us, we start to recognize the contributions that other people have made to our life. Once we realize that other people have seen the value in us, we can transform the way we see ourselves by daring to recognize our own inherent value.

People who practice gratitude consistently benefit:

Physically

• Stronger immune systems

• Less bothered by aches and pains

• Lower blood pressure

• Exercise more and take better care of their health

• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking

 

Psychologically

• Higher levels of positive emotions

• More alert, alive, and awake

• More joy and pleasure in day to day living

• Happier  and more optimistic

 

Socially

  • More helpful, generous, and compassionate

• More forgiving

• More outgoing

• Feel less lonely and isolated

  • Have healthier relationships

What you can do:

Practice gratitude!  It is a learned skill; an attitude to catch…a muscle you can build through repetition.  So, begin and keep a Gratitude Journal and make daily entries, naming at least tree things you are grateful for. Set the tone for your day by writing first thing in the morning, or put a positive spin on your day by journaling before you go to sleep at night.

Be grateful and be well!

Connie Norby