We normally celebrate the festival of offering thanks once a year, but how about celebrating this practice throughout the year? Researchers say that showing gratitude on a daily basis can help you enjoy optimal health. Is this really possible? Can one stay healthy without a strict diet, exercise routine or medication? Are positive emotions enough to guarantee good health? There are a number of questions that might be running through your minds, but the connection between gratitude and good health is nothing new. According to Robert Emmons, the Professor of Psychology at the University of California, there are thousands of years of literature which talk about the benefits that showing gratitude has to offer. Apart from psychological and religious literature, modern day science has also proved the wonders that gratitude has to offer to your health.
The benefits of gratitude
Those who practice gratitude on a daily basis have a definite edge when it comes to their health. People who are grateful by nature manage to take better care of themselves and also manage to engage in protective health behaviors more regularly. This section of the Resveralife Live Well Guide from Vine Vera examines some of the main benefits of gratitude.
1. Stress Buster. Gratitude helps you to relieve stress and it is no secret that stress plays a huge role in making you look and feel sick. Stress is also believed to be the reason behind most of your doctor visits. As it turns out, gratitude can help you to manage stress better because feelings of thankfulness have an immense value in helping people to deal with everyday problems.
2. Gratitude boosts the immune system. People who are grateful by nature are usually known to be more optimistic and this helps to boost the immune system. There is a particular study which shows that being optimistic helped in maintaining a higher number of blood cells that helped to protect the immune system.
Who is likely to be grateful?
There are some people who manage to feel grateful even in the most challenging circumstances. And then there are those who sink into despair the moment the smallest problems disrupt their routines. Gratitude is mostly about a person’s perspective and the framework through which he/ she looks at the world. People who tend to be more grateful are more mindful of the benefits gratitude has to offer.
How to get started?
If you’re looking to follow the principles of Thanksgiving on a daily basis, Vine Vera helps you to get started by offering you with five tips on how to be grateful on a day-to-day basis.
Tip No. 1 – Maintain a weekly journal
Maintaining a weekly journal is one of the most effective ways of being more grateful. All you need to do is set out some time each week to record some of the things that happened during the week for which you feel grateful.
Tip No. 2 – Make the most of visual reminders
Two of the main obstacles to gratitude are lack of awareness and forgetfulness. The best way to counter these problems is to place visual reminders in your bedroom or at your work desk. Another option would be to set a reminder or an alarm on your smartphone or computer which reminds you to take some time out and count your blessings.
Tip No. 3 – Have a partner
Having a gratitude partner helps a lot. Most people lack discipline to do things on their own. This is where having a partner helps. If you stick around people who are grateful by nature, you are more than likely to inculcate their values and follow them on your own.
Tip No. 4 – Make a public commitment to be grateful
Social support groups have grown in relevance over the years. You can find all kinds of social support groups in your city or on the internet. Become a part of one of these support groups that supports being grateful and try to set weekly goals for yourself. If you make this goal public within the group and share your status update after each week, chances are that you will be more likely to follow through on your promises.
Tip No. 5 – Change the way you converse with yourself
People converse with themselves all the time. Having negative conversations with one’s inner self can lead to a lower mood. All you need to do is try to change your outlook and think about positive things. Change the tone in which you say things to yourself and this should actually work wonders in making you more grateful.