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Healthiest Attitude Is One of Gratitude

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder

Gratitude isn’t just for Thanksgiving. It’s a lifelong feeling of being appreciative for all you have in life. It’s a bit deeper than “seeing the glass half full” or “looking on the bright side.” Showing gratitude can infuse positivity into all aspects of your life — heart, mind, body and soul.

Saying “Thank You” Is a Start

Weaving gratitude into your day takes a little practice. So do what feels good to you, or try one of these:

  • Write it down.Share your thanks with a family member or friend who touched your life.
  • See the good.Find the silver lining in a personal struggle.
  • Bite your tongue.Take an oath not to criticize for 10 days. And see your energy bloom elsewhere.
  • Count blessings, not burdens.Think about and list three positive experiences or list three positive people who crossed your path today.
  • Keep a Gratitude Journal.Keeping a gratitude journal can be as simple as keeping a listing on a daily or weekly basis. “Date… I am truly grateful for the following [things, people, circumstances and/or events] in my life!” Make your list. You will be amazed at the difference keeping a journal like this will make in your life.

Good Things Follow Gratitude

When you let light pour into your life, there’s a bounce-back effect. Your vibe will make you more approachable, so you can build new experiences and bonds with others.

Researchers also link gratitude with more joy, vitality, self-esteem and compassion. It’s like opening a door to let goodness into your life.

Gratitude is Good for Your Health, Too

It can help you:

  • Sleep more soundly
  • Ease stress and depression
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Be less bothered by aches and pains

Research even shows the simple act of smiling can help our hearts recover more quickly after stressful events.

Press “Pause”

Our lives are filled with glorious times. Instead of letting them fly by, take the time to savor their greatness.

You can try:

  • Slowing down
  • Sharing the moment with others
  • Taking a mental photograph… of shouting your joy from the rooftops!

Of course, we can’t freeze time. But we can appreciate the moment.

Much of the information for this article was gleaned from the writings of Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. See also CSQuest article Why Gratitude is Good for You.