Health Benefits of Being in Gratitude
As we journey through life it matters how we see life – is the glass half full or half empty? Putting a gratitude spin on our experiences has benefits. One area is it benefits is our health. It has been shown that even when you take a very small event and hold it in your heart while focusing on gratitude for 15-20 seconds, many subtle but important changes happen in your body. Stress hormones decrease which enhances your immune system. Blood supply to your heart is increased. Your heart rhythm becomes more harmonious, which positively affects your mood and body organs. Your breathing becomes deeper, increasing the oxygen in your system. (Ponder, 2007).
Robert Emmons, a leading guru on the subject of gratitude, has done much research on the effects of gratitude and reports that gratitude makes you healthier, smarter and more energetic. He reports people practicing gratitude have higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy as compared to those who do not practice daily rituals of gratitude. (Campbell, 2007)
So for today, pick out a small thing or event and find something in it for which you are grateful. Perhaps you are grateful that you have a job to go to today on this Tuesday. Or maybe you are grateful that you have a particular person in your life, or spend some time focusing on how much you love your dog. Perhaps you prefer the hot, humid weather to the snow that will fly soon enough. Bring in the feelings of gratitude and allow yourself to bask in the gratitude energy putting it on you like a healing salve. Start to practice noticing the glass that is half full. For today, I am focusing on being grateful to you for taking the time to read this blog and hoping you have a spectacular day.
Cambell, K. (2007, November 14). The Benefits of Gratitude and Being Thankful. Retrieved September 19, 2009, from www.associatedconted.com
Ponder, C. (2007, January 30). Gratitude. Retrieved September 21, 2009, from Christiane Northrup, M.D. Health Conditions and Advice.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
- Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.
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