Just for Today, I Will Be Grateful For My Many Blessings.
Scientific evidence supports that gratitude produces many health benefits. The book, Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, by Robert Emmons summarizes studies about gratitude.
Emmons, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology examines what it means to think and feel gratefully. One study showed that daily gratitude journaling resulted in increased optimism and satisfaction in those with various neuromuscular diseases. People in the study reported better sleep patterns and felt more refreshed when waking. Another study revealed that daily journaling about things we are thankful for was more effective in increasing an overall gratitude level than a weekly journaling practice.
According to the various studies discussed in Emmons book, practicing gratefulness thinking lowers stress by taking the focus off of the negative, and onto the positive. This greatly affects our physical, and mental states. It also enhances our relationships personally and professionally. Those who practice gratitude journaling regularly are reportedly healthier, more optimistic and resilient, less stressed, and satisfied with life. Practicing gratitude is a choice that we have each moment.
Try keeping a gratitude journal. Count your blessings, notice simple pleasures, and acknowledge all that you have been given. Just make some extra time in the morning to reflect on 3 or more things you are thankful for. Look for things throughout the day to add to your list. Doing this makes us seek out the good things in our day. You may want to share this idea with others so it becomes a group effort and expands the focus on a larger scale.
In the evening, before going to sleep, try choosing a favorite thing from the day that you are thankful for. This causes the mind to peruse through the positive events and closes the day on a positive note.