I’m sure you are aware that centering your heart on feelings such as gratitude and appreciation can reap incredible results, including positive physical changes in your body. But did you know that practicing gratitude can actually produce a healthier, more energetic and smarter you?

By practicing gratitude on a daily level, you can experience:

  • More energy
  • Better attention
  • Concentrated determination
  • Higher levels of alertness
  • Significant enthusiasm

practicing gratitude

Improving your health can be as simply as writing in a gratitude journal.  Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, says practicing gratitude has more health benefits than those who don’t regularly learn to say “Thanks“!

We all have heard the saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” While this is commonly quoted during the Christmas season, I believe its power is evidence in being able to give thanks for what we have received. The most simplest of lists of gratitude can include love, family, food, community, seasons, freedom, second chances and even mistakes to learn from.

The power of gratitude can easily be swamped by the stress and intensity of today’s world. It’s easy to forget to say thank you for the blessings we have received. But falling prey to negativity and criticism, can have far reaching complications.   However, with a little conscious effort, practicing gratitude can have a ripple effect, transforming and touching people across the globe.  Wouldn’t you like the opportunity to lift someone up today?

You have the ability to change attitude and convey a message.

So, here are three easy ways to practice gratitude every day:

1. The People That Touch Your Life

No body is an island.  So, who stood by you this year and helped you when you asked…or when you didn’t?  Hopefully the list belongs to those that you are closely connected to, but who is supported you in 2013? The major players should be easy, but expand the list to include some minor players in your life, like your favorite waitress or barista.  Did anyone give you particularly expert advice this year? You’ll be amazed at how much help you’ve had this year, including small and large ways!

2. Gratitude For What Grounds You

Whether you met milestones this year or last, include your favorite memories in a gratitude journal.  Did you get married this year? Did you have a child recently? What place did you visit that gave you the most inspiration? What special moment did you share with a friend? These peak experiences can be kept close at hand to review and renew a sense of appreciation.

3. Take Time to Remind Yourself

daily gratitudeCreate habits and tips to help practice gratitude. For example, make a point to reveal the highlight of your day at dinner. Cultivate gratitude when you during daily routines, such as on your walk to the train, when you pull out of the driveway, or even in the shower! Spend a few minutes listing the things that you are grateful for! This is a great way to keep track of regular and genuine gratitude.

Don’t miss the opportunity to go positive and resist the temptation to go negative.  Don’t do that to yourself! The fact is, everyone has something to be thankful for. Even on the worst day, when times are darkest or things seem to be falling apart, there is always something for which to be grateful. Celebrate the minor and major moments in life that you feel “the magic.”

Practicing gratitude for as little as 15–20 seconds, can have powerful physical results:

  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Increase the flow of oxygen to every cell of your body
  • And harmonize your heart’s rhythms with your body’s other systems

If all of this happens when you focus for just 15–20 seconds on something that brings you pleasure, joy, or a feeling of gratitude, imagine what would happen to your health—and our world—if you were able to cultivate and express gratitude and appreciation on a regular basis. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

What are you grateful for today? Comment below!

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