Maybe you’ve heard the buzz of gratitude recently and you’re thinking, “Yes, we should all use our manners and say ‘Thank You’, but what’s the big deal?”
Science, psychology, and religion all promise remarkable benefits of gratitude.
It’s actually a pretty big deal. When a person genuinely applies it into their daily life, they may notice some pretty significant, positive changes in many areas. Here are a few reasons that you should take note of this simple concept:
Science/Physical Health: Less Stress.
Studies have shown a reduction in the amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, when one implements an ‘attitude of gratitude’, as shown in a study by McCraty and colleagues (1998), among others. Less stress can have a major impact on our immune system and many other body and health functions. Gratitude even has an impact on depression and anxiety! When we are less stressed and have a positive outlook on life, we are able to think more clearly, focus better, and performance increases.
Psychology: Social & Relational Benefits.
Not only does gratitude elevate our own mood and contentment with the world, which makes us more enjoyable to be around in general, but studies have also shown gratitude to improve our romantic relationships when both partners are practicing it. Let’s face it, when we express the thoughts of thankfulness that flutter around in our minds, it impacts society and other people feel appreciation, hope, and positive energy.’
Imagine the impact that this can have on our professional relationships with our bosses, employees, and clients.
Religion: Fundamental Concept.
For centuries, world religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism agree one at least this one thing- they all promote gratitude and the well-being that comes from it.
In the Holy Bible, it is written, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Wow. If the Creator of the universe is telling us that it’s His will for us to be thankful, no matter what, then there’s got to be more to this gratitude thing than just good manners.
This is just a super quick overview of the myriad of benefits of practicing gratitude on a regular basis. Just enough to hopefully pique your interest for investing some extra gratitude in your own life.
Not easy, but simple.
Gratitude does NOT come naturally, and therefore, it’s not ‘easy’. Our first go-to is typically self-focus verses outward focus. It takes practice and often a change of mindset. However, it’s a simple concept, and very simple to implement. Here’s how: When you think of something negative, have a complaint, or are just feeling down in the dumps, think about something that you’re thankful for. It can be anything — your pet, a coat that keeps you warm, a person in your life that you couldn’t do without. Replace any negativity with a thankful thought. Simple.
Try It for a month with the #SimplyThankful November challenge!
Join me in the 3rd annual #SimplyThankful challenge by posting something that you’re thankful for on social media, and include the “SimplyThankful” hashtag! It can be just a text post, a picture, or even a video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Youtube! Let’s all be watching and searching the hashtag and fill our lives (and the world) with more of that life-enriching gratitude!
The challenge begins today, November 1st, but runs the full month of November (and if you notice a difference, feel free to continue it beyond!) You’re welcome to join in at any point. The more the merrier — literally 🙂
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