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Grateful Heart

A few years ago, I remember realising how I seemed to be concentrating on the negative parts of my life and wasn’t practicing gratitude in anyway. So I rushed to buy a five year diary (love these!) – adding one thing I was grateful for each day. And, like lots of new things you try and adopt, it lasted a few weeks and then suddenly stopped.

I dusted off that diary last week and have started faithfully scribbling five little notes of thankfulness each day. This morning I found myself waking to such a happyfull heart and I realised what a positive effect that this little ritual was having on me already. Now, this is exactly what they say will happen, but it still took me by surprise, waking up in such a cheerful mood, even though it was 5 AM and I had a dog bouncing on my head!

Here’s a list reminding us of all these scientifically proven benefits you feel once you start to concentrate on gratitude. It’s amazing!

  • It opens the door to more relationships – studies have found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.

  • It improves your physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and feel healthier than people who don’t practice gratitude.

  • Improves psychological health. Being grateful reduces so many toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment, to frustration and regret.

  • Enhances empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kind.

  • People sleep better. Spending just a few minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed helps you sleep better and longer.

  • Increases mental strength. Recognising all you have to be thankful for, even during the worst times of your life, fosters true resilience.

Isn’t it incredible that this little ritual can create such change? That trying to live in this enlightening way, affects so much. I don’t plan on forgetting this addition to my life ever again. I’m so enormously and crazily grateful for so much, but right now, I’m just grateful for finding gratitude again.

Who out there practices gratitude? Has it affected your life? Does this resonate with you?

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