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Live Healthier By Living In Gratitude
When you are piling your plate full this holiday season, make sure you include a healthy heap of gratitude – it may just help you live longer and look better! Recent studies show that people who regularly practice giving thanks are happier, healthier, calmer and perceived as more beautiful.
Why is it that grateful people experience all these extra benefits? Theories contend that grateful people are more likely to recognize their core personal values and prioritize them as such. And most of the time, those values include taking care of themselves and loved ones. This means that the more you live in a state of gratitude, the more likely you will be to take care of yourself, exercise, eat better, get professional treatments including massages and facials, and engage in more protective health behaviors and maintenance.
Being grateful doesn’t have to be hard. Use these four steps to shift your mind and start reaping the health benefits of gratitude:
- Focus on the Positive, Both Inside and Out. Life can be challenging. But, it’s how you approach those challenges that are important. According to Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California at Davis, gratitude is defined as your attitude toward both the outside world and yourself. He suggests that those who are more aware of the positives in their own lives tend to focus their attention outside of themselves.
- Appreciate What You Have. One of our favorite quotes is, “There is someone in the world right now dreaming of the life that you have.” Remember that what you have doesn’t just consist of material possessions. It includes your health, your loved ones, your talents and your friends. It’s not what you have, but how you feel about what you have that makes the difference.
- Remind Yourself Why You Are Grateful. In the midst of life’s stressors, it’s easy to forget everything we have to be grateful for. Each night before bed, write down a few things you are grateful for that day. When you are feeling down, reflect back on your gratitude journal to help remind you of everything you have to be thankful for.
- Reframe Challenging Situations. This is a tough one to swallow, so listen closely – you can change other people or situations, you can only change how you perceive it. Coming in to any situation – especially a challenging one – with a “can do attitude” can make all the difference. The next time you find yourself complaining about a person or situation, reframe your thinking and find the opportunity. It could change your life!
What are you grateful for? Tell us in the comments.