“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens
We have all heard at some point that we should focus on the good in our life and not the bad. We’ve been told how helpful it would be if we cultivated a gratitude practice and learned to appreciate the blessings we have in life. But have you ever wondered just how much a gratitude practice can affect your life? If you’re the type of person who needs scientific evidence that having an attitude of gratitude can benefit your life, researchers have good news for you. They’ve found that people who consciously focus on gratitude experience greater emotional well-being and physical health than those who don’t.
Gratitude has the ability to heal us. If we make a decision to face our days with gratitude, we are better able to cope with stress, more likely to feel optimistic about the future, we exercise more and get sick less, are more likely to achieve our personal goals, have more energy, enjoy closer personal relationships, forgive more easily, and we are more likely to help others. These are just a few of the benefits of learning to have a grateful outlook on life. Gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives.
If you don’t have a gratitude practice, now is the time to start one. You don’t have to wait until you’re in the right place emotionally or until something particularly wonderful happens to you. Right now at this very moment, even if you’re having a no-good, terrible day, I bet you can find one thing for which you can be grateful. Start there. Each day is a new opportunity to find something for which we can be grateful. You owe it to yourself and your overall health and well-being to cultivate a gratitude practice.