Did you know that gratitude has the potential to reduce the frequency of various toxic emotions – such as envy, resentment, frustration and regret? Or, that it is scientifically proven to reduce depression, increase happiness and improve overall health and well-being? Having gratitude goes far beyond saying thank you; it is an energetic vibration that can greatly enhance the quality of your life.
Gratitude is defined as the state of being grateful. It is a source of appreciation for all of the blessings in our lives, the people around us, and the situations that unfold in our everyday lives. Gratitude strengthens bonds and brings us into the present moment. When we are expressing gratitude for a person or event that has transpired, we are connected to the universal flow of love. We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude, no matter what is happening in the present moment. Rather than focusing on the negative things in life, choose instead to see the positive aspects in each situation. Having gratitude isn’t just a rainbow-maca-sunshine approach to life – it is scientifically shown to have positive effects on your physical, emotional and psychological self. Gratitude is a new habit or practice that anyone can choose to learn and do on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at some facts on gratitude.
- A five minute daily gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by 10%.
- Gratitude is a relationship-strengthening emotion.
- In two studies with 243 total participants, those who were 10% more grateful than average had 17.5% more social capital.
- According to a 2012 study, grateful people experience fewer aches and pains – and report feeling healthier than other people.
- Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner, even when others behave less kindly.
- Gratitude increases sleep quality, reduces the time required to fall asleep, and increases sleep duration.
- According to an Applied Psychology study, writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep.
- A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased the self-esteem of athletes; an essential component to optimal performance.
- Research has shown that gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma.
- Researchers in an Italian study found that gratitude “is connected to a less critical, less punishing, and more compassionate relationship with the self.”
- A national survey on gratitude which included over 2,000 American citizens found that the last place where people are likely to receive or express gratitude is at their workplace.
- It only takes eight weeks of gratitude practice for people to start showing a change in brain patterns that leads to greater empathy and happiness.
How can I make an impact:
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Sit still daily and think through five to ten things that you are grateful for. You must picture it in your mind – and sit with the feeling of gratitude in your body.
- Start a gratitude journal. At the end of your day, write down three to five things that you are grateful for.
- Learn to appreciate more and complain less. There is always something that we can show appreciation for – even if it is just giving thanks for a sunny day.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1
- Volunteer. One way to show gratitude is to be of service. Connecting to others while giving back is a great way to increase a grateful heart.
- Express your gratitude to others. Be more open to showing appreciation and gratitude to other people. It is a practice that many people are comfortable with. Start with a few interactions today and watch your grateful expressions grow.
- School-based gratitude journals for children could be an effective way to promote school belonging and reduce anxiety in the youth population.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Action 1 & 2
- Spend time with those you love. When we feel loved and supported, we are naturally more grateful. Being around loved ones can cultivate gratitude and allow ourselves a safe space to express it.
- Share your experience. Once you cultivate your gratitude practice, share your experience with friends and family. Encouraging others to do the same increases the energy around you and makes for a more positive, loving planet.
- Choose to be an Ambassador for Change, and always Spread Love and Spread Light.