Can saying “thank you” actually give you a feeling of happiness and joy? And what if there was a stress reliever so simple but powerful that you could easily practice it each and every day, for amazing results? Fortunately, practicing daily gratitude has been shown to both relieve stress and promote happiness.
It seems that happy people tend to take responsibility for their state of being. This means they are more aware of the wonderful rewards that are apparent in their lives. And they make a practice of verbally or mentally giving thanks each and every day for the good things they have around them. Why is this daily practice of gratitude so important if you want to live a healthy and happy life?
Robert Emmons would like to answer that question for you. A psychology professor at the University of California at Davis, Emmons is a “positive psychology” researcher. This is a relatively new field of study, understanding the effects of positive thinking and conscious happiness pursuit is the goal. The professor has released findings that clearly show that when you practice daily gratitude, you improve your health.
When you adopt what he calls an “attitude of gratitude”, you receive a number of benefits:
- Stronger immune system
- Improved ability to deal with stress and daily problems
- More optimistic outlook
- Improved avoidance of troubling physical symptoms
- Boosted mental alertness
These findings have been backed up by other researchers like the University of Utah’s psychology professor Lisa Aspinwall. When you begin to focus your attention outside yourself, you see that there are many things to be grateful for each and every day.
Fortunately, the many benefits from being thankful daily are achievable regardless how many physical possessions you have. It seems that when you consciously recognize events, people, circumstances, and memories which you are thankful for, your physical and mental rewards are greater than when you express gratitude for owning a physical object.
How to Practice Daily Gratitude
So, exactly how can you get started expressing gratitude daily?
1) Begin a daily gratitude journal. Set a goal e.g. to list 20 items a day. Some days it’ll be really hard, and you’ll list things like having a home on your gratitude list. This is what will open your eyes to how much you really have.
2) Tell at least one person in your life each and every day that you are grateful for them and their actions.
3) Turn something negative (the soup you ordered is cold) into something positive (you are so grateful to have food to eat).
4) Learn to say “thank you” mentally or verbally several times a day, and your recognition of gratitude will instantly impact your health positively.