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Giving Thanks is Good for You

Starting a gratitude journal can be a powerful tool. It only takes a few minutes a day for significant changes to happen. This basic mindfulness practice teaches us to become conscious of things that may go unappreciated. The entire course of life can change with this one small practice. It is a way to nourish ourselves and reflect on our interconnectedness to everything. What a relief to have such a gift in the midst of the overwhelming stress that life can bring.

Gratitude is like tending a thriving garden of the mind. When you pay attention to the small details; contributing to richness of the soil, tending pollinators, watering the seedlings, joy blossoms and a full harvest arrives. When you eat the rich fruit it in turn gives back the energy that you so diligently contributed leading to a rich and healthful life.

Here are a few health benefits of gratitude practice that are backed by science:

-Reduces depression and increases happiness

-Improves sleep

-Reduces pain

-Increases empathy

-Lowers aggressive tendencies

-Helps overcome trauma

Get detailed about what you are grateful for. Name specific details, qualities and circumstances.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

-Appreciate the vastness and simplicity of nature and all it offers you

-Cherish someone special in your life and all that they are and do

-Think about your body and all it does for you on a cellular level

-Give thanks for pain, fear, sadness and disappointment, these are all teachers and opportunity for growth and deeper understanding

Some other things you can do to show gratitude outwardly:

-Write a thank you card or give a small gesture of thanks

-Go out of your way to thank someone for all that they are

-Write a private message on Facebook to someone that you admire tell them why they have influenced you and why you are grateful for them

-Write an online review of someone or somewhere that has helped or influenced you positively

Thank you for reading this and for taking care of yourself!

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