This week Awesome Stories focuses on the power of gratitude. I love the Thanksgiving Holiday and the reminder to appreciate my life and its many blessings.
Gratitude by the Numbers
In case you’ve been hiding for the last 10 years, the transformative power of gratitude has been demonstrated. The research of Robert Emmons (and many others) has shown clearly that gratitude boosts our mental, emotional, and physical health.
When I first started blogging, I was very focused on how many people were signing up for my blog. Gradually my focus shifted to the simple joys of writing, sharing, and connecting. I am both humbled and immensely grateful for all of you who follow my blog. When I began blogging in 2011, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to blog or write. I started blogging on a whim and suggestion from a friend. Thank you Eric Huber! Truthfully, the community, love, and support are what keep me going. I never imagined that I would still be blogging 6 years later. I have met and connected with so many wonderful people in this WordPress community. Thank you for touching my heart and life.
Here are some other benefits of practicing gratitude:
- improved immune system and heart function
- increased optimism and emotional resilience
- increased energy levels
- decreased stress
- improved self-care
The most common way to cultivate gratitude is in a journal, writing at least 3-5 items that you are grateful for each day. Doing this for at least 30 days can help you to both create a new habit and reap the benefits. Research suggests that journaling your gratitude for even two weeks can bring benefits for up to 6 months.
Other ways to cultivate gratitude:
- conscious breathing
- saying “Thank you” often to people
- meditating on gratitude
- sitting and appreciating the feeling of gratitude
These and other gratitude practices help train the brain for positivity and gratitude, creating new neural pathways in your brain!
Gratitude for the Heart
Like Everyone Matters, this was the first video I ever posted on my blog and ended up putting it first on my inspiration page. I’ve shared it several times, including this tribute to gratitude called Open Your Heart to Gratitude. Louie Schwartzberg created one of my favorite videos of all time. The photography and cinematography are stunning by themselves. But paired with the hypnotic voice and words of Brother David Steindl-Rast, the video becomes a sublime feast for the heart and soul. And a powerful reminder of how much we have to be grateful for. As Brother David reminds us, today is truly a life-giving gift. Enjoy!
May we open our hearts to gratitude and allow the blessings to flow. Happy Thanksgiving!