Thanksgiving isn't the only time of year we could reflect and take stock of all the positive things in life. As it turns out, there is scientific proof that being grateful is just plain good for you. Read here to find ways to integrate scientifically endorsed gratitude into your life.
The Science and Power Behind Gratitude and How It Can Change Your Life
The first major study of gratitude that shows how “wanting what we have” can measurably change people’s lives. Did you know that there is a crucial component of happiness that is often overlooked? Scientifically speaking, regular grateful thinking can increase happiness by as much as 25 percent.
The benefits of practicing gratitude are nearly endless. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they're thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. Simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well‑being and life satisfaction.
Here are a few keys I’ve discovered—and research supports—that help not only to start a gratitude practice, but to maintain it for the long haul. This has been a life changing, powerful practice in our home. These tips could help you too.
Don’t get out of Bed-Until… You have thought up at least 3 things that you are grateful for. Big or small, this is a great way to immediately raise your vibration.
Freshen Up Your Thanks. The best way to reap the benefits of gratitude is to notice new things you’re grateful for every day. Gratitude journaling works because it slowly changes the way we perceive situations by adjusting what we focus on. And be sure to stretch yourself beyond the great stuff right in front of you. Opening your eyes to more of the world around you can deeply enhance your gratitude practice.
Make a game out of noticing new things each day. Get Real About Your Gratitude Practice. Being excited about the benefits of gratitude can be a great thing because it gives us the kick we need to start making changes. Being optimistic about the benefits of a new habit while also being realistic about how difficult building the habit may be – leads us to exert more effort. Recognize and plan for the obstacles that may get in the way. For instance, if you tend to be exhausted at night, accept that it might not be the best time to focus for a few extra minutes and schedule your gratitude in the morning instead.
Make Thankfulness Fun By Mixing It Up. Don’t limit yourself—if journaling is feeling stale, try out new and creative ways to track your grateful moments. Maybe create a gratitude jar. Any time you experience a poignant moment of gratitude, write it on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. On New Year’s Eve, empty the jar and review everything you wrote. When a good thing happens, “That’s one for the gratitude jar!” It immediately makes the moment more meaningful and keeps you on the lookout for more.
Be Social About Your Gratitude Practice. Our relationships with others are the greatest determinant of our happiness. So it makes sense to think of other people as we build our gratitude. Focusing our gratitude on people for whom we’re thankful rather than circumstances or material items will enhance the benefits we experience. You could even write a gratitude letter to someone who had an impact on you whom you’ve never properly thanked. You could also share the day’s grateful moments around the dinner table. The conversations that follow may give you even more reasons to give thanks.
"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow" ~Melody Beattie
I am grateful to you for bringing your energy to our shared space, for the teachers sharing your gifts, knowledge, and passions with the world, for bringing ease to the community, for students and clients for opening your hearts and minds, and for all of you for shining your brightest light, and for believing and trusting in me to hold space for these journeys. I am profoundly grateful for each and every one of you, through every step of this process and for each lesson learned. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Peace, peace, peace.
Sincerely, Jamie Lynn-Owner-Collective Energy Center
Please join us at Collective Energy Center in honoring and making a habit of this practice. You'll find a modality, a class, workshop, event, or group support to assist you on your journey to the benefits of gratitude.
Collective Energy Center 215 Avenida Del Mar, Suites K&L San Clemente, Ca 92672 www.collectiveenergycenter.com @collectiveenergycenter
Resources: Excerpts written by Derrick Carpenter, MAPP