Being Grateful Can Lead To Better Health

Thanksgiving is a delightful time of the year, and everyone has the opportunity in life to be more grateful. Many of us are blessed during the holidays as well as throughout the year. Holding on to this “heart attitude” always brings a cornucopia of benefits.

Ways to Practice Gratitude

In a busy life, perspective can be “lost” in keeping a thankful heart. Family gatherings are coming followed by the Christmas holidays. There is an ongoing long list of things to do, and the boss wants extra projects done quickly and efficiently. How can we continue to keep the focus which brings cheerfulness of heart and health to the body?

Keep Clear Perception

One of the richest people in the world held wealth of over four-hundred billion dollars in the late 1200s to early 1300s, yet he was unable to do many of the things done in today’s time – ride in an airplane, use a cell phone to call a friend, go to the movies, or even to use today’s city utilities.

Keep perception clear by being thankful for things others were not able to experience, or achieve in life. There are other people in the world who may not be as fortunate, or they do not have access to the amenities held in our lives. Some live in the world without a wide variety of food selections, some live without access to healthcare, while others may be living on the streets.

Focus on the “positive things” of life and have a heart of “thankfulness.” As we focus on the encouraging, creative energy within our lives, we affect others around us positively. When we walk in the faith God has called us to walk in, others will be blessed near us. Simply saying a kind word to someone can change a life.

Access Bountiful Benefits

Exercising thankfulness, or gratitude, provides health benefits to the mind, soul, and body. By practicing this “heart attitude,” individuals gain a boost in mental health, social health, and physical well-being. Toxic emotions (anger, bitterness, jealousy) are washed away psychologically when we stay in a mindset of thankfulness.

Grateful individuals are more likely to exercise consistently throughout the year. People who are thankful report increased self-view, and they hold a more confident view of life.

Growing Gratitude

Growing gratitude will bring a life of blessings, and there are different ways to cultivate this in life. One way to focus on gratitude daily is to keep a “Thankful Journal,” or a “Gratitude Journal.” Record three things each night you are grateful for on a regular basis. The process can take as little as a few minutes nightly.

Another similar exercise is to write out the letters of the alphabet. Then beside each letter, list items you are thankful for. For example, for the letter b, you can write you are thankful for your boss, or your boys. This exercise may require you to think more to be able to complete the list of letters. This can be done in a few settings, or you can simply add to one letter each night.

Writing thank you notes to others in your life is a great way to grow gratitude. The notes can be for loved ones, family members, neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Providing a few lines of thanks and encouragement to someone will also help you to grow.

Ask yourself questions related to thankfulness. There are hundreds of questions to ask yourself which help grow gratitude in your life. Here are a small number of questions which will help you get started in growing appreciation.

  • Who do you appreciate?
  • How are you fortunate?
  • What relationships are you thankful for?
  • What opportunities are you grateful for?
  • What experiences are you appreciative of?
  • What happened today which you are grateful for?

Be Mindful

Be mindful of who you are and where you have been. Think about how to grow gratitude in your life on a regular basis. Remember, the health benefits which result in this practice – a better mind, improved emotions, and a restored body. And, take some time to put “action” to showing others around you performances of thankfulness!

 

3 Comments

  1. Jennie says:

    I struggle (sad to say) with being grateful. I am so thankful for this article, and plan to start a Gratitude Journal. These ideas are great, and I so needed them. I am thankful that Dr. Colbert posted this on Facebook. Looking fordard to improving in health, especially emotional health. Thank you!

  2. Fern De Montesquieu, MD says:

    Yes I agree with Gratitude

  3. Love this article on thankfulness…

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