Restoration Physical Therapy
Photo representing An Attitude of Gratitude: It’s good for Your Health

Could an attitude of gratitude be good for your health?

Research shows that being thankful for what we have is what infuses joy into our lives as compared to attaining a specific goal or acquiring a certain possession.

A Time of Gratitude

The days of fall are expressing their full glory as we look around outdoors. The colorful leaves adorn the trees in such beauty and splendor. It is a spectacular transformation that we are blessed with each fall. The month of November and the Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to write about the reasons to be thankful. Could an attitude of gratitude be good for your health?

Research and Thankfulness

Sometimes we think, “If I only had __________, I would be happy.”  Just fill in the blank. But research shows that being thankful for what we have is what infuses joy into our lives as compared to attaining a specific goal or acquiring a certain possession. One study revealed that people who kept a weekly gratitude journal had fewer physical symptoms, exercised regularly, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week as compared to those who chronicled about life’s hassles or neutral events. (1. Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

The Law of Happiness

Dr. Henry Cloud states in his book, The Law of Happiness, that our sense of wellbeing is 10% circumstantial, 50% constitutional, and 40% controllable. He goes on to explain that people make attempts to find that new job or buy a new car which increases their happiness by 10%.  But then it goes back down. Circumstantial happiness is not sustainable.

How we are internally predisposed is half of the wellness factor. I help out in the church nursery and it is easy to see this in the little ones. Some are all smiles and others require a lot more TLC to be happy. The good news is that 40% of wellbeing is at our own disposal. We just need to know how to tap into it with the act of being thankful. Research reveals that not only are grateful people happier, but they also have improved physical health, less emotional and psychological difficulties, and are less envious and materialistic.

Develop a Thankful Heart

Developing a thankful heart has benefits. It takes the emphasis off the negative and focuses on the positive. A simple activity to heighten your sense of gratitude is the “dot exercise.” Take a blank piece of paper and draw a black dot, which represents your biggest problem, in the center. At first the dot is all you can focus on. Now spend time writing out all the things you are thankful for with colored pencils. Before long the dot is no longer the thing you focus on as the multitude of colorful blessings take precedent on the paper. Savor the feeling that thankfulness induces as you dwell on the treasures of your life.

Journaling

Keeping a gratitude journal is great tool for developing an attitude of gratitude. Spend a few moments to write down five things for which you are thankful. When things start spiraling downward, opening the journal and reading prior entries helps to change the focus. Spending a few minutes writing down the good things has so much potential to improve your emotional, physical and relational wellbeing.

Express Gratitude

Taking the thankfulness one step further is sure to reap great rewards. Think of someone who has been special or shown a kindness to you. Give them a call, or write a note, text, or email to tell them how thankful you are for them. The blessing will become magnified as the gratefulness is expressed.

Look for Daily Simple Treasures

Taking time to appreciate the simple treasures allows us time to slow down and savor life. There is a depth to gratitude. It is not being a Pollyanna and denying the difficult situations of life. We become thankful for the lessons we have learned through the disappointments or shattered dreams and realize that we can choose to open our hearts to the good in life instead of being a victim of our circumstances.

Make a decision to be thankful today. It is a proven remedy for overall wellness and healing.

In all things, give thanks. I Thess. 5:18

1. Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: Experimental studies of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377-389.

Categories: Gratitude, Healthy Living
Post by Mary Falk PT on October 21, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude: It’s good for Your Health

Research shows that being thankful for what we have is what infuses joy into our lives as compared to attaining a specific goal or acquiring a certain possession.

Backyard in the fall

A Time of Gratitude

The days of fall are expressing their full glory as we look around outdoors. The colorful leaves adorn the trees in such beauty and splendor. It is a spectacular transformation that we are blessed with each fall. The month of November and the Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to write about the reasons to be thankful. Could an attitude of gratitude be good for your health?

Research and Thankfulness

Sometimes we think, “If I only had __________, I would be happy.”  Just fill in the blank. But research shows that being thankful for what we have is what infuses joy into our lives as compared to attaining a specific goal or acquiring a certain possession. One study revealed that people who kept a weekly gratitude journal had fewer physical symptoms, exercised regularly, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week as compared to those who chronicled about life’s hassles or neutral events. (1. Emmons & McCullough, 2003).

The Law of Happiness

Dr. Henry Cloud states in his book, The Law of Happiness, that our sense of wellbeing is 10% circumstantial, 50% constitutional, and 40% controllable. He goes on to explain that people make attempts to find that new job or buy a new car which increases their happiness by 10%.  But then it goes back down. Circumstantial happiness is not sustainable.

How we are internally predisposed is half of the wellness factor. I help out in the church nursery and it is easy to see this in the little ones. Some are all smiles and others require a lot more TLC to be happy. The good news is that 40% of wellbeing is at our own disposal. We just need to know how to tap into it with the act of being thankful. Research reveals that not only are grateful people happier, but they also have improved physical health, less emotional and psychological difficulties, and are less envious and materialistic.

Develop a Thankful Heart

Developing a thankful heart has benefits. It takes the emphasis off the negative and focuses on the positive. A simple activity to heighten your sense of gratitude is the “dot exercise.” Take a blank piece of paper and draw a black dot, which represents your biggest problem, in the center. At first the dot is all you can focus on. Now spend time writing out all the things you are thankful for with colored pencils. Before long the dot is no longer the thing you focus on as the multitude of colorful blessings take precedent on the paper. Savor the feeling that thankfulness induces as you dwell on the treasures of your life.

Journaling

Keeping a gratitude journal is great tool for developing an attitude of gratitude. Spend a few moments to write down five things for which you are thankful. When things start spiraling downward, opening the journal and reading prior entries helps to change the focus. Spending a few minutes writing down the good things has so much potential to improve your emotional, physical and relational wellbeing.

Express Gratitude

Taking the thankfulness one step further is sure to reap great rewards. Think of someone who has been special or shown a kindness to you. Give them a call, or write a note, text, or email to tell them how thankful you are for them. The blessing will become magnified as the gratefulness is expressed.

Look for Daily Simple Treasures

Taking time to appreciate the simple treasures allows us time to slow down and savor life. There is a depth to gratitude. It is not being a Pollyanna and denying the difficult situations of life. We become thankful for the lessons we have learned through the disappointments or shattered dreams and realize that we can choose to open our hearts to the good in life instead of being a victim of our circumstances.

Make a decision to be thankful today. It is a proven remedy for overall wellness and healing.

In all things, give thanks. I Thess. 5:18

1. Emmons, R. A., & McCullough, M. E. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: Experimental studies of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 377-389.

Categories: Gratitude, Healthy Living

Post by Mary Falk PT on October 21, 2013

Restorative Categories

 
Share with your friends

Simple activities to develop a habit of gratitude and thankfulness.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.