The River analogy has long been a symbol of movement toward well-being. As we travel the natural flowing water of our River of life … we often forget to count our Blessings or to simply sit and reflect on the goodness of our lives. Within this article I would like to explore the following questions and perhaps offer you food for thought along with some solid information. Is there a connection between an attitude of gratitude and our health? Can gratitude play a role in my natural approach to wellness & healing? How do I foster a more powerful and holistic way of living well? How do I cultivate a dependable current of gratitude in my river of life?
Wherever we go, we can always find something to complain about. If we travel we complain about crowded airports. If we stay home we complain we never go anywhere. If it is too hot we complain, and if it is too cold we wish for warmth. And it goes on and on.
Many scientific studies have found that people who consciously focus on Gratitude experience greater well-being along with physical and emotional health. Following are a few results (among the many) I found while researching this topic. (Source: Chopra Center for Healing & writings of Norman Vincent Peale)
- People get sick less often.
- Fewer symptoms of stress.
- Feel better about their lives as a whole.
- Sleep better
- More energy, enthusiasm and focus.
- Healthier relationships – with oneself and others.
- Increased ability to enjoy each day.
- Increased happiness & feelings of contentment.
Why is gratitude strengthening and so very connected to our health and wellbeing? One answer is the energy of Gratitude recharges our Soul. The practice of gratitude aligns us with the most powerful force in the Universe – God. We can then draw strength from Gods Power. We also know that negative thinking affects our health, our immune system and our wellbeing in a negative way.
How can I cultivate a more dependable current of Gratitude in my life? Following are a few suggestions:
- Begin a Gratitude Journal ~ answer the following questions: (source: Rabbi Baruch Spinoza – 17th century Dutch Philosopher)
- Who or what inspired me today?
- What brought me happiness?
- What brought me comfort and deep peace?
- Write a thank you letter to someone – this someone can be living or dead.
- Write a thank you letter to yourself.
- Take a Gratitude walk
- Spend 10 minutes a day reflecting only on your Blessings
Gratitude is an immense powerful force that we can use to expand our happiness & improve our health & well being. In this Season of Thanksgiving I invite you to integrate one of the above suggestions into your life for the next 30 days. Simply pause & reflect on the profound sense of Gratitude that resides inside of you – waiting to be expressed.
Allow the current of Gratitude to flow within your River of Life!
May we continue to learn, grow and live in peace!
***The Healing Power of Gratitude will be offered as an individual class in our upcoming series on health and well-being beginning in January 2015 at the Center for Life Enrichment!!