In cultures throughout the world, there’s a deeply-ingrained lesson of being grateful for what you have. Gratitude is something many people aspire to but few are able to truly obtain. It’s not a natural state of being for us. The world is constantly telling us we need more – more food, more money, more prestige, more fame, more love, more things. It can be very difficult to overcome that mindset in order to practice an “attitude of gratitude.” However, doing so is incredibly beneficial.
Similarly to regularly displaying compassion, living a life of gratitude is beneficial for your health, both physically and mentally. Learning to consciously practice gratitude in our lives can improve many areas, affecting our mood, level of happiness, relationships with others, mental health, and even energy level. It’s been linked with reduced anxiety and depression, better sleep, and even improved immunity. All of this combines to help obtain the two biggest benefits of all – longevity and happiness. If you’re having trouble obtaining this sense of peace, incorporate Happy Girl into your daily routine for a natural depression remedy and overall mind and body balance. A balanced body gives you the clarity and support you need to reach that feeling of gratitude.
When we wrote about compassion last month, we discussed a number of ways being compassionate literally improves health. Gratitude works similarly. Both of these characteristics must be actively applied. Although some studies indicate compassion is actually a natural state of being for most people, we’re still constantly bombarded by advertisements and attitudes that encourage us to insulate and be selfish. Likewise, learning to practice gratitude in our daily lives is a conscious choice.
Instead of focusing on what we don’t have, we must focus on what we do have. Instead of dwelling on burdens and stressors that are dragging us down, we should instead count our blessings. Once we learn to frame our lives positively instead of negatively, the benefits begin pouring in.
Numerous studies have shown that subjects who focus on their blessings experience lowered blood pressure, increased relaxation, more and better sleep, less physical pain, and spend more time exercising. The improvement extends to relationships and work, which ultimately helps us feel more content and happy with our lives. Reduced stress from a happy life has an immediate impact on our immune system, quality of life, and ultimately length of life.
To get on the path toward a gratitude-filled life, start small. Once every day, take five minutes to calm your mind and think of the good things in your life, no matter how insignificant they feel. Focus on obtaining a sense of peace and gratefulness, and hold onto that feeling a little longer each day. Your mind and body will thank you!