Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Two simple words, that pack a powerful punch when it comes to your overall wellbeing.
The practise of gratitude is gaining traction, although some still view it as a ‘nice to do’ and something superfluous, the reality is that this easy, simple and fun practise has been scientifically proven to benefit your emotional and physical wellbeing.
Robert A. Emmons, Professor of Psychology at UC Davis and leading gratitude researcher has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and wellbeing. The findings show that practising gratitude can lead to a change in mindset and that can positively affect our biochemistry and lead to a multitude of benefits to the mind and body (source; UC Davis Health)
Practising gratitude has been proven to:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve immune function
- Improve the quality of sleep
- Reduce risk of depression
- Reduce anxiety disorders
- Lower levels of stress hormones
- Lead to healthier lifestyle choices
- Decelerate the effects of neurodegeneration
- Block toxic emotions
As Emmons says, “It is impossible to feel envy and gratitude at the same time”.
Different ways to practise gratitude
One way to practise gratitude is to take a few minutes each day to list all the things that you are grateful for that day.
Here is an example of my gratitude for a day:
I am so grateful for the run out in the park that I did today, being able to move my body in the way that I want, to feel fresh air on my face. I am grateful that I was out in nature, seeing the lovely trees and watching the ducks in the pond, and when they dive and wiggle their bums really making me smile. I am grateful for the chat I had with my mum and how nice it is to know she’s there…
This can be so simple, and once you get started and get into the flow it becomes a really nice practise. A great time to do this is in the evening when you are getting ready for bed.
Before you Sleep
If journaling before bed is not something you can do, and you would prefer something quicker, you can simply close your eyes and as you are drifting to sleep, start to list all the things you are grateful for and just play them out in your mind. This also helps to calm the mind and switch off from the stresses of the day. It can relax your body and help you drift into a peaceful sleep.
You can also include gratitude as part of your daily meditation practise, and I have created this short gratitude meditation so that you can really embody the feeling of gratitude, and enjoy all of the benefits that can bring your mind and your body.
5 minute daily gratitude meditation
You can learn more about gratitude and many other simple and effective wellbeing practises with the Total Wellbeing Toolkit workshop, an hour long workshop packed with tools and techniques to help you feel good in mind and body. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.