The Power of Gratitude.
Gratitude is an emotion that allows us to express appreciation for what we have as opposed to expressing a desire for what we want. Studies in positive psychology have shown that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and that this can increase our well-being and happiness.
Gratitude has a powerful effect on health
Research shows that gratitude has powerful effects on physical health, social relationships, and self-worth. Experiencing gratitude also builds the mental and physical resilience needed to overcome life’s stresses and challenges. People who regularly practice gratitude report higher levels of positive emotions, including more joy, pleasure, happiness, and optimism. These people also tend to have stronger social relationships and fewer feelings of isolation and loneliness, perhaps resulting from the fact that they are shown to be more generous, compassionate, and forgiving. New research also shows that gratitude can reduce the frequency or duration of episodes of depression.
In addition to its mental and social benefits, the practice of gratitude has been shown to improve physical health. Research reveals that those working with gratitude have stronger immune systems, sleep better, and report fewer pains and aches. These people are also more likely to exercise regularly, take better care of their health, and have lower blood pressure.
If you’re looking to relate gratitude to your professional life, practicing gratitude may enhance your fulfillment here as well. Highly gracious people report more feelings of alertness, determination, and enthusiasm, and are better at making progress toward achieving goals.
The research in this field clearly shows that cultivating feelings of gratitude is a simple way to make big changes in our lives and wellbeing.
How do I cultivate gratitude?
Feeling gratitude for what’s going well in life has a remarkable impact on how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. Indeed, positive psychology research demonstrates that gratitude is strongly associated with greater happiness and fulfillment. We can practice gratitude by consciously aknowledging what we have in our lives.
Five simple ways to practice gratitude:
1. Keep a gratitude journal
Keeping a journal of things that go well is proven to improve happiness and health.
Start a gratitude journal by listing three to five things that went well or that you’re grateful for every day, or even multiple times a day for maximum effect.
I like using Gratitude Journal (iTunes link) to keep a daily record.
2. Write thank you notes
Boost your happiness by writing a postcard, letter, email to someone in your life for whom you’re grateful. This will make you happier, whilst nurturing your relationship with the other person. This is also a great strategy to use in the workplace acknowledging the work that others do will increase and sustain their motivation to continue doing great work.
3. Give silent thanks
Sometimes you may have an opportunity to feel grateful for someone or something but don’t have a chance to express it out loud. Practice saying “Thank You!” to people (or things) you aren’t able acknowledge in other ways, use this in traffic when a driver let’s you in or to the creators of the beautiful handmade chocolate you’re treating yourself to. This will help you appreciate and reap the benefits of positive experiences that might otherwise go unnoticed.
4. Practice mindfulness meditation
Use mindfulness to focus on what you’re grateful for in the present moment it could be the warmth of the sun, a pleasant smell, or a feeling of peace and calm. If it suits you, you can also use prayer to acknowledge and cultivate gratitude.
5. Pay it forward
Have you heard of the Wake Up Project? The project has developed Kindness Cards which help you to pay kindness forward The cards encourage you to buy flowers for a deserving person, order pay for lunch for a stranger, who is then asked to pay the favour forward. Research shows that the people who receive your good deeds will be more likely to follow suit with their own good deeds too.
Kinesiology can help you become more grateful.
Kinesiology helps us to dive into the subconscious mind and identify blocks and sabotage patterns that hold you back when in the process of creating the life of your dreams.
Suggested treatment plan.
When working with kinesiology to help you adopt a happier, more grateful attitude I recommend:
- An initial 90 minute kinesiology consultation followed by 3 – 5 standard consultations 1 -2 weeks apart.
- Further follow-up standard consultations should be spaced between 2 -4 weeks apart or booked as needed.
Kristen is a qualified Kinesiologist, Counsellor, Yoga and Meditation teacher. She has been helping people with their physical, emotional and spiritual journeys for over a decade.
Kristen specialises in working with the mind-body connection. She works with the energy-body as an interface between the physical body and the mind. Bringing together kinesiology muscle testing, counselling, dreamwork, flower essences, chakra work, yoga and Chinese medicine, Kristen can help you to balance your energy to achieve a fulfilling, successful, happier life.
Kristen’s passion is uncovering the cause of illness and disease to help you achieve inner peace, purpose and clarity by discovering your own unique truth and working towards your highest potential.
Kristen practices from the SWell Centre in Hawthorn, Melbourne.