Gratitude Is Good for Health
A simple 'thank you' can improve your health and happiness.
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Here are some techniques to help you do this:
Reminders. Although the feeling may be easy to experience, the daily practice of gratitude takes discipline. Some days will be better than others, but find ways to be grateful for the gifts and blessings you currently have. Anchor this to your daily meditation or prayer practice. Write sticky notes as a reminder. Whatever it takes to keep you tuned to feeling and expressing gratitude, devote some of your energy to doing this on a regular basis.
Gratitude spiral. I use this every morning during my walking meditation. I say a quick prayer, and then begin to think of everything I may be thankful for including family, health, warmth on a cool day, seeing the rising sun over the mountains – anything I can consciously think of. I look at what might have happened yesterday that I could be grateful for, and then I take a look towards the future and imagine things that I would like to create in my life. I picture myself accomplishing whatever I see in my mind’s eye and offering “thanks” as if it has already occurred.
Gratitude journal. Make mental notes throughout the day about what things to be grateful for and then regularly enter them in a notebook or journal. Do this in the morning or at bedtime, once a day or once weekly. Regularly assigning time allows you to develop gratitude into a practice.
Gratitude visit. Write a letter of appreciation to someone who has had a beneficial influence on you, then meet that person and read the letter to them face to face.
Dinnertime thanks. This may bring two healthy practices to the table (literally) – eating together and practicing gratitude. Do this either by asking one person to say a word of thanks for the meal or go around the table asking each person what they might be grateful for that day. You can even splurge and do both, one after the other.
Ultimately, the point of practicing gratitude is to alter our perspective and allow us the opportunity to see things in a different light. This chance to transform ourselves is the ultimate quality that can push us toward greater contentment.
For your health and happiness, give it a try.
MORE: Gratitude for Happiness, from Dr. Oz & Dr. Roizen