Number three on my list of 10 Things You Can Do Today (to live healthy in mind, body and spirit in an unhealthy world), is BE THANKFUL. According to the University of California Davis Research on Gratitude and Thankfulness, grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress. People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathetic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful. Grateful people place less importance on material goods, are less likely to judge their own and others success in terms of possessions accumulated and are less envious of others.
So how does one take a daily dose of Vitamin G?
Here’s an easy tip from Rodale News…start by making an effort to thank people more often. Then advance to counting your blessings at least once a day for 30 seconds. Need some suggestions? Be thankful for your health, your food, your family, and friends. Heck, thank your letter carrier even if all he brings is bills. He or she may be out of a job next month.
Brain expert, Dr. Daniel Amen, says gratitude is the best anti-depressant. He recommends writing down three things you are grateful for every day and within three weeks you’ll notice a significant difference in your level of happiness.
To set the tone for your day, I suggest the “one minute in the morning method”. In one minute think about things you are thankful for and write them down. Perhaps you keep a journal in your bathroom and while you are getting ready for the day you jot your thoughts down. If you are a coffee and newspaper person, I challenge you to journal first, newspaper second. How you fit this in your morning routine is up to you, I just want you to do it.
Research has found that an attitude of gratitude not only improves our mood but is imperative for a healthy body and spirit as well. In a world that tells us more is better, we are vulnerable to a thought pattern that focuses on what we don’t have instead of what we do. Some of us are born with an attitude of gratitude, but for the rest of us this takes practice. Daily practice. Ready to put this to the test?