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Gratitude and the link to our health

How Gratitude can Change your Life!

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Being Grateful is good for us

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, the holiday that has its origin in the Puritan’s tradition of giving thanks for a good harvest. Many religious and societal traditions are based in the concept of gratitude.

What scientific studies have shown is a direct link between gratitude and a deep satisfaction with life. Not only is it good to give thanks, it is good for you to do so!

There is also a link between gratitude and thankfulness. Individuals who keep gratitude journals who were OPTIMISTIC were reported to have a positive approach to life and its outcomes. This is compared to those who wrote about daily struggles and looked on life from the glass is half empty point of view. In addition, individuals who kept the journals were more likely to make progress towards their personal goals in life.

Furthermore, it was also found that people with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be EMPATHETIC and to take the perspective of others. Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods; they do not measures other’s success in terms of possessions accumulated; and do not necessarily envy wealth; and are more likely to share their possessions with others relative to less grateful persons.

If the practice of gratitude is so beneficial to our overall well-being, how can we learn to cultivate it more?

My gut feeling is that the type of gratitude we normally experience when we see others that are less fortunate than ourselves is not enough. If it were, we would all be much happier as we are surrounded by evidence of the suffering of so many people in the world today. It seems that we need to look directly at our own lives in order to be truly grateful and thereby reap the benefits of gratitude.

The concept of gratitude is directly related to the idea of the ‘POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING’. Concentrating on what we do have versus what we don’t have seems to be the key. Reminding ourselves on a daily basis of all the things that come our way keeps us grounded in gratitude instead of want. At any given moment during the day we can stop in the moment and be thankful.

Finally, research also reports that grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life. Our attitude can determine how effective you are at coping with what life throws in our direction. 

Our perspective on life determines our reality

If we approach things with a perspective grounded in say the belief that life is unfair, everything that turns up will look unfair. But as we practice gratitude, we are endowed with its gifts of optimism and the necessary energy required to take on our lives

How can you start to practice gratitude?

Begin with the art of mindfulness, being totally present in the moment. Notice all the little things that surround you, things you might take for granted if you hadn’t stopped to really look. Offer acknowledgement of these small gifts much like my moment in a warm and peaceful home with my dog. Write them down in a gratitude journal. The little things make up the fabric of our days, our months, and our years. Oftentimes we hardly notice them because we are so caught up in the task of living. As they say, stop and smell the roses.

Stop and consider what you have been given in life.

• How is your financial security?

• Do you have loving children, a supportive family/nice home?

• Is your health good/average/bad?

• Is work enjoyable for you?

• Surrounded by wonderful friends?

• Are you in a supportive and loving relationship?

Concentrate on what you do have and not what you lack.

In conclusion the act of gratitude and the act of giving back to others leads to the inevitable …more fulfilling, meaningful and happy lives. Start practicing gratitude today.

Things you can do to practice gratitude:

• Pull out a notebook and write down just one thing.

• Have a chat with someone you know who would benefit from a few minutes of your valuable time. Tell them something positive about them and give words of encouragement/motivation. Write this in your journal

.• Commit to adding to your journal everyday. A good time might be before bedtime when you have time to reflect back on your day. When you put down your pen and paper, you might just go to sleep easier. That’s yet something else for which to be grateful.

Finally, as a coach and someone who practices these behaviours regularly, I can help you to create your authentic, fulfilled and successful life to live the life you desire.

Grab a copy of my book in paperback or audio from this website or Call me on 0845 6182879 or 07702 818665. Alternatively you can contact me via email or fill in the contacts page on this website.