Did the Gratitude Questionnaire bring up any thoughts or feelings for you about your current level of appreciation?
Today, I would like to let you in on a few of the secrets which result from being grateful, and to offer a helpful tool to guide you on your journey toward adding gratitude and appreciation into your life every day. It is a meditation I wrote several years ago at the request of friends. You may access my app by clicking here to download OR in the App Store and search for: Lysa Rohan Gratitude Meditation™. My recommendation is to add this quick and easy 5-minute meditation into your day and during this week, and notice how you feel.
So what does being more grateful do for our body, mind, and spirit? GREAT things! Dr. Robert C. Roberts, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Philosophy at Baylor University wrote in the book The Psychology of Gratitude, a seminal anthology of scientific research on the subject of gratitude and gratefulness, “Grateful people tend to be satisfied with what they have and so are less susceptible to such emotions as disappointment, regret, and frustration. [They have]… a powerful resource for transcending many of the circumstances that disappoint, frustrate, and anger most of us. In consequence, grateful people, whether religious or not, will be less prone to emotions such as anger, resentment, envy, and bitterness.”
The most current research backs up the work of Dr. Roberts. It reveals that grateful individuals experience a wide variety of physical, social and psychological health benefits. For example, folks who practice gratitude say they feel more alive, healthier, and have greater vitality. They see themselves as having an enhanced capacity to be independent and make their own choices using their free will.
Practicing gratitude makes people psychologically healthier, as well. They will more often choose healthy activities over unhealthy ones, and show a greater willingness to seek help for health concerns when they do occur, than those who don’t have a grateful outlook.. Other psychological benefits from adopting an attitude of gratitude include increased conscientiousness, greater emotional stability, and a more positive opinion themselves, others, and a greater sense of optimism about life in general.
To add even more benefits to the growing pile, grateful individuals tend to report less stress, less anxiety, greater life satisfaction, and better sleep. When we have higher life satisfaction we tend to smoke less and exercise more, and more often choose healthy activities across the board. Even more good news? These results are found in many different cultures around the world.
Doc Childre and Howard Martin in The HeartMath Solution, the first book from the HeartMath Institute, which documents their ground-breaking research on the energetic and emotional workings of the heart’s response to thoughts of appreciation, found this to be true from their years of research: Extensive studies using both a Heart Rate Variability machine, equipment very similar to an EKG, and measuring the antibody IgA, an important component in our immune system that fights against invading pathogens and is an important indicator of the health of our immune systems show that your heart rate slows when you make the shift to being grateful and these healing, life-enhancing antibodies are released into your blood stream for up to six hours. That’s a huge pay off for the single choice to shift your perspective to one of gratitude.
This week try and practice the meditation as many days as possible. Notice how you feel afterwards and in the days that follow. Maybe jot down a few notes about these feelings and any thoughts that come to you. Enjoy this journey!
Until next time…Be Vibrant!