Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thankful Thursday and Why Gratitude is Good for You!

I knew that being thankful was good for you.  I also figured the benefits went deeper than just making your soul happy.   When I set out to find out how and why gratitude was good for you, I found even more reasons to be thankful on a regular basis.



You will notice that most of the articles that I've linked to are published in November of whichever year they were published.  It's because most people only think about gratitude in the month of Thanksgiving, but how could your life improve if you practiced gratitude every day?
  
What could happen in 2016 for you if you practiced thankfulness every day?

Reduced Calorie Intake?

According to a post last November on the Today show website,  gratitude can help boost your immune system, lower blood pressure and better your heart health.  What I really found interesting though was that there can be a connection between gratitude journaling and reduced fat calorie intake!  Really?!?  The article also talks a little more about the mind-body connection.

Fewer Aches and Pains?
In this article on Forbes.com, we learn that people who exercise gratitude have fewer aches and pains and are more likely to stick to their fitness goals.

Manage Stress Better?
I like that this article on WebMd says that adversity can increase gratitude and that gratitude can help us deal with stress.

Better Sleep?
I love that this gratitude article on livescience emphasizes that gratitude helps us focus our energies outward and that it can improve our quality of sleep.

Those benefits sound pretty good!  What steps can you take to be mindful every day of the blessings in your life?  Here are a couple ways:

  • Start a Gratitude Journal.  Any notebook would do!  You could even get  a small notebook to carry around with you in your purse or briefcase to write things down as you feel or notice them.  If you want to get fancier, you could buy a designated gratitude journal. You can find several to choose from on Amazon, such as this one:    Gratitude: A Journal
  • Make a Gratitude Jar.  We made ours last year and it was fun to go through all the things we were thankful for in 2015.  It was a fun recap of our year. 
  • During family dinners each night, or dinner with your partner if you don't have kids, state three things that you're thankful for that day.  
  • If you're a blogger, begin a Thankful Thursday post
gratitude jar
     "Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings."~~William Arthur Ward
     Here are the things that I'm thankful for this week.  I always try to list at least 5 things.
  1.  I'm thankful for the beautiful sunrise this morning and the promise of a new day.
  2. I'm thankful that I've been able to read with Future Fashionista twice this week already.  It was one of my goals for this year.
  3. I'm thankful--and this one might seem strange--that I was able to take the vacuum cleaner apart yesterday and clean it.  Hopefully it will start picking stuff up again, which will lower my stress.  Hehe.  There's gotta be someone else out there who understands that!
  4. I'm thankful that my hubby is accomplishing the things that he'd like to accomplish.
  5. I'm thankful for sore muscles because it means I'm working on becoming stronger.
  6. I'm thankful that we finally canceled cable, because it will save us $100/month.
  7. I'm thankful that we have a four day weekend starting today at 4:00 and I'm thankful that my hubby has Monday off.
What are you thankful for today?  Do you make it a practice to acknowledge your blessings?

     
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