Gratitude as a Health and Healing Practice
Did you know that gratitude can increase your sense of positivity, compassion, and even strengthen your immune system? UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center explores how being thankful makes us happier and healthier. Check out the Expanding Gratitude Project to learn more about their current research, initiatives and resources about the power of appreciation.
Another article of interest summarizes more than 25 scientific studies into gratitude and thankfulness. One of the studies revolved around an experiment that required subjects to keep a “gratitude journal.” The study found that those who kept weekly gratitude journals exercised more regularly, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week.
Keeping a gratitude journal is simple, requiring only the setting of an intention to write once a week using the following prompt: There are many things in our lives, both large and small, that we might be grateful about. Think back over the past week and write down up to five things in your life that you are grateful or thankful for.
If you don’t want to commit to keeping a journal, maybe you can just try a simple reflection question in this moment: How do you experience and express gratitude in your life? You’ll be amazed at how just closing your eyes and ruminating on this question for a few minutes can refresh your attitude and connections with people and activities that are part of your life.