There is an old saying:
“If you have forgotten the language of gratitude you will never be on speaking terms with happiness.”
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It is a special day set aside to count our blessings. However, in our culture it is the harbinger of a time of year filled with stress and unmeet expectations. Ouch!
What is gratitude? It is a quality of feeling or being thankful. Being is the operative word here. It requires no doing but just the simple act of “being”.
Developing the “gratitude muscle” is a type of switch for our stress hormones.
You cannot be in stress mode, anxiety, reactivity, or any other negative emotion and be in a mindset of gratitude all at the same time.
Studies show that “being” grateful has a profound effect on our health and moods. It actually effects our physiology on a cellular level.
The benefits of gratitude are being happier and healthier, having less physical complaints, increased good will to others, and all this is noted by the other people around us.
Here are three simple things you can do on daily basis that take no time at all but will improve the quality of your life and be a welcome tool for navigating through this time of year. Imaging saying “Happy Holidays” and really “being” in the feeling.
- Before you go to sleep each night or get out of bed in the morning or both, think and say to yourself three things you are grateful for. If you are not in a particular good mood to begin with, say them anyway. Simple or profound, it all works to shut down the negative stress hormones and improve the release of hormones that support our health and wellbeing.
- Tell a spouse, partner, friend, or co-worker something you appreciate about them. Make it part of every day.
- Look in the mirror while brushing your teeth and think about something you have done well or like about yourself.