Of all 12 Days of Wellness, today just might be my personal favorite. There is so much to say about starting each day with gratitude and finding something in each and every day to be grateful for; big or small. In fact, I wrote an entire article on how gratitude improves your health!
Studies are proving that practicing gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects on a person’s health, including:
- Reduced blood pressure
- Improved immune function
- Better sleep
- Less stress
- More energy
- Increased heart health
- Improved hormone function
- Anti-aging effects
- Increased brain function
Who doesn’t need all of that?!
Think about it. When you are more grateful and appreciative of the things around you, how does it make you feel? Me personally, I feel more connected with myself and my environment. It makes me feel humbled and grounded, which are all feelings that are the complete opposite of what stress does to me.
Being more grateful can be something as simple as taking time each day to think about what you’re grateful for and an easy way to do this is by keeping a gratitude journal. There are many apps available on your SmartPhone or even better, you can keep a physical journal to record your daily entries. Studies have shown that keeping a gratitude journal helps reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, and can even have positive anti-aging effects on the brain.
Simply put, showing gratefulness improves your health because of the positive feelings that are associated with it. When you perceive positivity and focus your energy on what you appreciate most, the calming section of your nervous system is triggered. When this happens, cortisol levels drop and oxytocin (the feel-good hormone) increases.
I encourage you to find something…one thing…you’re grateful for today. There is something beautiful about every single day of our lives and I challenge you to find that one thing and be thankful for it.
So tell me: what ONE aspect of your life are you grateful for today? Share it in the comments below.