🖤 Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions, the more you express gratitude for what you already have, the more likely you will have even more to express your gratitude for 🖤
“I’m grateful for this BODY, and vow to treat it well. To EAT well, to NOURISH it well, HYDRATE it, EXERCISE it, STRETCH it, MOVE it, RELAX it…”
In this post I’d like to present some information I gathered mainly from research on practicing gratitude 🙏🏼. I have to start by saying that gratitude is beneficial to our mental health as well as our overall well-being. I thought I’d combine some personal experience with science and create a blog post beneficial for both our bodies and souls 💕. I think that mental health is a very important, if not the most important aspect of health 🧘🏻♀️🧘🏻🧘🏻♂️. I can see a lot of people in my surrounding, struggling with it, especially now in the past year… I truly believe that I wouldn’t be where I’m today if I didn’t do the mental work, which includes meditation, gratitude, etc. Always when I meet people I hear: “you’re so positive “, “always smiling”... and that’s despite my circumstances. I’m thinking that if I was physically healthy (could move independently) oh boy! There’d be nothing that could stop me, nothing that could make me feel low 💪🏼. And that’s the power you gain when you look after your mental health. I could really write about this for days, but that’s not the point, the subject of this post is practicing gratitude 🙏🏼. If you don’t believe in meditation, just take a look at me! I’m constantly working towards my goal 👣, but I’m happy here and now. Gratitude made me realise how much I have in life to be grateful for 😌🥰
Gratitude is simply defined as the state of being grateful. It’s about acknowledgment and being thankful for what you have in life. We can be grateful for a gift that we received from someone, or achieving something we’ve always wanted. But I’d like to focus on a very different side of gratefulness here. Basically focusing on the positive things that happen in our lives, and saying THANK YOU for the simplest things. What’s important is to really feel that gratefulness and happiness while practicing. Are you ever feeling grateful for things like basically waking up in the morning? Being given another day to live? Having a roof above your head? Being able to eat, drink, move, walk? Think about it… when was the last time you paused to think about this? Never mind expressing gratitude. I know some of you will think that they’re just basic things, but I have to remind you here that not everyone has these things, not everyone is so lucky. They’re the things we just take for granted every day… #blessed
What are the benefits⁉️
Everyone is probably asking the following questions right about now: Why would I start practicing gratitude? What will it do for me? Will it affect my life, and how? Well I have done some research 🧐, so let’s dive in! Ready?! Because I am 🙋🏻♀️👇🏼
🧘🏻♀️ Mental Health 🧘🏻♂️
Mental health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going…
Mental Health comes up again and again, because it’s so important to get things right in our head/mind first of all. Don’t you agree? I know I started practicing gratitude regularly just a few months back, mainly because of this aspect of health. It just became a morning routine for me (but I’ll elaborate about the different methods of practicing gratitude later in this post). Let’s have a look at some facts (I’m a scientist at heart🤓, I like factual information 🤷🏻♀️). There are many benefits of practicing gratitude, both mental and physical. Regular practice has been shown to have positive effects on health:
“Research suggests gratitude interventions—designed to increase appreciation of positive qualities, situations, and people in one’s life—may improve psychological well-being”
☝🏼 a paragraph taken directly from a study published just last year (2020).
“In two experiments, it was shown that grateful thinking improved mood, and results also supported the predictive validity of the GRAT (Gratitude Resentment and Appreciation Test). These studies support the theory that gratitude is an affective trait important to SWB (Subjective Well-Being)”
☝🏼So gratitude is linked to improving mood, positive thinking and overall well-being 🧘🏻♀️😊🧘🏻♂️.
☀️ Optimism ☀️
Although the world is full of suffering, it’s also full of overcoming it…
“We observed that greater optimism was associated with the maintenance of healthy aging over time”
☝🏼 taken from a 2019 study, looking at the effects of optimism on health (ageing). Their findings as well as past research, showed associations between higher optimism levels and reduced risk of individual age-related conditions (e.g., heart disease, stroke, cognitive impairment) have been reported, as well as reduced risk of mortality from age-related diseases (e.g., heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, total cancer).
Therefore gratitude practice can improve our optimism and feeling positive about our lives and the future 😊. Need more reasons to start ⁉️ No problem…😉
🛡 Boosting Immune System 🛡
The cells in your body react to everything that your mind says. Negativity brings down your immune system!
We all know how important our immune system is 🛡🦠. It’s so essential to do everything to keep it working well, and improve it when needed. I’m pretty sure that we all need to boost our immunity, because we face so many things that bring it down every day.
🤩 Fun Fact 🤩
There was a study done in 2010 titled “It’s the little things: Everyday gratitude as a booster shot for romantic relationships”, and the title says it all! Practicing gratitude, especially towards each other can improve relationships, in my opinion not only romantic…with your parent, sister, brother, grandparents. I think it can improve relationships overall, however let’s stick to what was measured and published. So, practicing gratitude can help improve your romantic relationship, strengthen it so you feel more satisfied and happy❗️💕
🙏🏼 Practicing Gratitude 🙏🏼 – How to do it⁉️
- Keeping a gratitude journal/diary ✍🏼 – keeping a diary of things that you’re grateful for everyday, writing them down and looking back 📖
- Gratitude board/mapping 👩🏫 – putting up a board in your room with the things you’re grateful for. It’ll remind you visually to be grateful every day. Perhaps colourful stickers? 🌈
- Gratitude jar 🏺 – I personally think this is the most fun way to practice gratitude of all listed. It could be an easy way to get started-Whenever something good happens, or you feel thankful for something, write it down on a piece of paper and put it in a jar. Next time you’re feeling down, give the jar a shake and pick out one slip of paper. I’m sure that will shift your mood by reminding you (automatically making you think of that moment/thing) ☺️🥰
- Gratitude meditation 🧘🏻♀️🧘🏻♂️/Prayer 🙏🏼 – this is the method I use, which easily became my routine. Every morning, before starting the day, 10-15 minutes. I alternate between the three meditations attached at the end of the post. One in Polish and another two in English 🙏🏼😍. Gratitude meditation/Positive affirmations /Prayer… it’s all good! Morning or evening, whatever you prefer! You could even write a few sentences and create your own gratitude list that you can repeat everyday with some nice relaxing music playing in the background? 😌
- Volunteering to help others 🥰- I heard it so many times from different spiritual teachers/gurus/psychologists that when you give to others you receive back twice as much, if not more. What I found really interesting is that every article or research I read stated that practicing gratitude and volunteering (acts of kindness) are actually in the list of TOP things that can make you happy, and improve your satisfaction with life. They were amongst things like; meditation (finding time for yourself and decluttering), exercise, sleep (rest), eating well, getting fresh air, doing what you love, positivity, relationships, etc. No word about money, which I think is very interesting 🤔, because I bet if you asked anyone what do they think are the TOP 5 things that make you happy in life, I’m sure most would think of money making the list. Some food for thought… Money doesn’t even make the list, whereas gratitude and regular acts of kindness are usually the top two on every list 🤷🏻♀️…
🦋 Every act of kindness grows the spirit and strengthens the soul 🦋
😊🌻 Time to make you smile 🌻😊
🙏🏼💫 Examples 💫🙏🏼
💪🏼👣”I remind myself of how far I’ve come, and believe that I can still go the distance”💪🏼👣
”I’m grateful for the courage I have to follow my own path, instead of following the crowd”
”I’m grateful for my mind, I commit to using it well, to focus on learning, to applying knowledge gained, to hold myself accountable, to stay humble, to agree to talk and think well of myself and others, to channel my focus only to the positive, and let go of wasteful thinking, to let go of dwelling on the past-where there’re no more lessons learnt. To let go of fear and anxiety of the future, and instead focus on what I can control-my own actions, my own thoughts, my own reactions and my intent…”
☝🏼 I chose 3 of my favourite sentences that I can really resonate with, but being completely honest and transparent I love the whole content of all the videos I shared🥰. The first sentence represents my journey to recovery (which is also a journey of self-discovery), second is about the courage to follow MY own path, in anything I do in life really (but especially today-in the situation we’re in with the “pandemic”). The last sentence I also resonate with, because of the injury I acquired, I’m so grateful I can be at least mentally independent (I’m grateful for my mind), while I fight for getting the physical independence back👣. The stroke could have taken that precious part of me… I’m really aware of that, and grateful it didn’t 🙏🏼🧠.
It took me a while, finding the perfect one, so I recommend trying different ones… there’s millions of gratitude videos online, literally 😅🙉! You have to take into consideration the voice, the music in the background, but most importantly the content that suits you. What’s good is that they’re usually not long, 10-15 minutes, max 20, so it’s possible to try a few, and I wish you the best of luck with finding “the one” 🍀💕😜, but as I mentioned before, you can always write your own list ✍🏼, then you can customise it to your liking…👌🏼🙏🏼😇
We’re getting good at remembering to take care of our bodies (being health concious and eating well is SO popular today), but let’s not forget about taking care of Your MIND also ~Klaudia🦋
Medical Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed medical doctor. By blogging I do not diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect a mental or physical health condition, please see your healthcare provider.
🌟 Gratitude is like wine for the soul, now go and get drunk 😂🍷🙏🏼