GRATITUDE: the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful
REFLECTION: (1) fixing of the thoughts on something; careful consideration. (2) a thought occurring in consideration or mediation.
Today, I am healthy, able to spend time with my family, and enjoying the fantastic weather—and I’m choosing gratitude.
On the flip side of this, there are challenges. How easy would it be to say, “I’m so busy,” “I’m so tired,” or anything along those lines? (Believe me, I do have those thoughts.) But focusing on that has never served me well.
START A GRATITUDE JOURNAL: HERE’S HOW
Keep this as simple as you can…that way you will increase the likelihood of turning this idea into a habit.
Keeping It Simple:
- Get a Spiral Notebook or Your Computer
- Open it to the first page
- Write Down Today’s Date
- Start Writing
- ***UGGGG**** I Don’t Know What To Write About
Here Are Some Basic Ideas To Get Your Writing Started:
Write about an event that you are looking forward to.
Take a quick look through your photo gallery on your phone. Find a picture that makes you happy
Think about a time that you made a mistake and what you learned.
MADE YOU SMILE
2-3 Things that made you SMILE this week. Family, Sports, Movie, ?/..??
If you have a pet, what are some funny things that they do?
If you had to give up all of your possessions except for 3 items, what would those be and why?
THE BENEFITS OF KEEPING A GRATITUDE JOURNAL
Keeping a Gratitude Journal may sound a little out of the ordinary, but keeping a Gratitude Journal has numerous benefits that can help improve your body and mind.
FOR THE INDIVIDUAL
Increased Happiness & Positive Mood
More Satisfaction With Life
Less Likely To Experience Burnout
Better Physical Health
Encourages The Development of Patience, Humility, And Wisdom
Gratitude disconnects us from toxic, negative emotions and the ruminating that often accompanies them.
Every time a person expresses or receives gratitude, dopamine releases in the brain. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is produced in two areas of the brain: the substantia nigra and the ventral tegmental. The former has to do with movement and speech, and the latter with reward (Carter, 2009). When a person expresses or receives gratitude, dopamine releases, thus making a connection between the behavior and feeling good.
The more a person practices gratitude, the more often dopamine releases.
FOR THE GROUP
Increases Prosocial Behaviors
May Help Employee’s Effectiveness
May Increase Job Satisfaction
GRATITUDE = HEART HEALTH
Patients who expressed optimism/gratitude two weeks after an acute coronary event had healthier hearts (Huffman, Beale, Beach, Celano, Belcher, Moore, Suarez, Gandhi, Motiwala, Gaggin, & Januzzi 2015).
One of the most popular gratitude exercises is keeping a daily gratitude journal. One study found that materialism among adolescents decreased when they implemented this practice. Participants also donated 60% more money to charity (Chaplin, Roedder John, Rindfleisch, & Froh, 2019).
Regardless of who you are, or the circumstances of your life, the mental and physical health benefits of gratitude are undeniable. There are numerous gratitude books, workbooks, apps, and premade journals available, making it easier for everyone to increase their practice of this virtue every day.
Just jump in with your spiral or laptop and GIVE GRATITUDE A TRY. The sooner you start, the sooner you can realize the health benefits of gratitude.