What can greatly increase happiness and joy, improve your immune system and literally rewire your brain for more positivity in just a few minutes a day? Gratitude.
Before you groan and move on, thinking to yourself, “Not another article on gratitude,” consider moving into a state of curiosity and explore this topic a little further. An article from Harvard Health Publishing states, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.” Clearly, gratitude does indeed greatly improve our lives in many ways.
Also, if, after reading this article, you want to dive deeper into a gratitude practice and would like some awesome tools to help you along the way, join my upcoming 28 Day Gratitude Challenge. Sign up here to be notified when registration opens.
The mission of my business, Kalila Healing Arts, is to empower you for mind.body.spirit wellness, so let’s look at gratitude from that lens.
How gratitude improves the mind:
- Can help foster resiliency
- Improves symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Rewires your brain so you are more apt to notice positive things more often
“Recognizing all that you have to be thankful for—even during the worst times—fosters resilience.”
How gratitude improves the body:
- Strengthens immune system
- Improves sleep
- Reduces blood pressure
- Increases frequency of exercise
“Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood and immunity. Gratitude can also decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease.”
“Can Expressing Gratitude Improve Your Mental, Physical Health?” Mayo Clinic Health System
How gratitude improves your spirit:
- Gratitude is a higher vibrational state
- Improves self-esteem
- Better relationships
- Deeper connection to, and appreciation for, everything
“Being grateful is equivalent to feeling the presence of the Divine in our lives. It is the same as being in a state of bliss. It allows us to see value, virtue, and benefit in everything.”
–“Gratitude: The Ultimate Spiritual Practice,” Luis E. Romero, Forbes
Of course, none of these areas work in isolation because our mind.body.spirit is a system, and whenever you improve one area, there are positive effects for your entire system.
Bonus! How gratitude can accelerate your manifestations:
If you are someone who believes in manifestation, having a regular gratitude practice can assist you in that process. When you are in a state of gratitude for that which you already have in your life, you will attract more things, people and experiences that will continue to keep bringing that feeling of gratitude into your life.
With our busy lives, the thought of having one more thing to do can be overwhelming, but implementing gratitude into your life only takes a few minutes a day. I once heard Dr. Amit Sood, author of the “Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness,” speak, and he shared that he gives gratitude for five things in his life every morning before he gets out of bed. I personally use the time walking into my office in the morning to do the same thing. Where do you have just a few minutes of time? Maybe it’s in the shower, driving to work, cooking dinner, sitting at your child’s practice or game or during your workout. You do have the time for gratitude; it’s just a matter of being intentional about it. The exercise below will assist you in cultivating a daily gratitude practice.
Here’s a simple and quick daily gratitude exercise called “The Savoring Habit,” from Positive Psychology.
- Decide on a set time each day when you would most benefit and have the time to develop a savoring habit.
- Next, set a cue to remind you to stop and savor the moment. This might be an actual alarm set on your phone or a time of the day such as when you pull into your driveway after work.
- Commit to this time and cue for one week. After one week, you’ll evaluate this process and decide if you need to change things.
- When your cue triggers your attention, take a deep breath and draw your attention to the present moment.
- What sights, sounds, smells do you notice? Pay mindful attention to the experience of awe for your environment. What are you grateful for in this one mindful moment?
- Now take a moment to bask in the sense of pride at your accomplishments today or experience a sense of gratitude for your good fortune today. If today wasn’t a good day, what small wins can you be proud of?
- Finally, take one more deep breath and sink into the sense of pleasure you feel in response to these reflections.
After you’ve been practicing this exercise ask yourself the following questions to reflect on your experience and see where you might need an adjustment:
- What positive emotions did you experience?
- Did you experience any negative emotions?
- Did you find yourself looking forward to the cue to trigger savoring, or was it a challenge to carve out that time? Would a different time or cue make the habit easier to implement?
- How did this exercise affect your mood, attention and behavior afterward?
- Did you experience this week any differently from a normal week?
- Will you continue experimenting with a savoring habit?
I hope the information and above exercise on gratitude was interesting and helpful. Don’t forget to sign up for the 28 Day Gratitude Challenge and spend November, which is Gratitude Month, cultivating this impactful process into your daily routine and reap all the positive benefits gratitude has to offer.
You can also sign up for emails from Kalila Healing Arts and choose between a free guided meditation mp3 for deep inner stillness or an Energetic Allergy Healing session for emotions related to family, friends, romantic partners and yourself by visiting kalilahealingarts.com.
Stacy Edland, founder of Kalila Healing Arts, is a Personal and Spiritual Development Coach with a mission to empower women for optimal mind.body.spirit wellness. She is a certified life coach, Reiki master, certified EFT Tapping practitioner and Energetic Allergy Healing practitioner. You can find Kalila Healing Arts on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.