Three Enormous Rewards for Being Grateful

Want to be more active? Happier? Healthier?

Then you, my friend, need to be grateful.

Recent studies have shown that those of us who are regularly grateful for the good in our lives are likely to be more physically active, feel more content in our day-to-day lives and suffer less health problems.

The key is to regularly spend some time being aware of, and grateful for, the good in our lives. To actively stop taking these everyday blessings for granted. To pause, look around and say, “Hey, it’s all good. I may not be running marathons/curing cancer/raising kids/travelling/out of debt but I am me. And that’s pretty bloody good, for these reasons…”

The easiest, and most widely recognised way of increasing your attitude for gratitude is by keeping a gratitude journal.

What You Need

Despite what stationers everywhere will try to tell sell you, it doesn’t need to be a fancy-pants, leather-bound, very-very-special book. It just needs to be paper. Or screen. (I prefer paper, but diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks.)

How to Start

Once a week, spend ten minutes writing down 5-10 people/acts/events/things you are grateful for. Just one sentence per entry is enough.

That’s it. Just ten minutes a week will have truly positive impact on your happiness and well being.

Is That All? Ten Minutes a Week? What if I Do More? Will I Be Happier?

The Gratitude studies have shown that over-doing the gratitude journalling may have the opposite effect. Over time we become immune to the feeling of well-being gained through gratitude and lose the positive benefit.

Although I personally tend to think it would take a lot to over-do this. I can see no harm in thinking on the positives of each day as you go to bed at night. But, I am not the expert here, only a happy, happy camper.

Tell me, what are you currently grateful for?

Me? I’m grateful for our chickens and the liveliness they bring to our yard. For the sound of our two kids giggling and playing together. For our warm, comfortable home. For sharing the lounge with Sparky – him watching the cricket, me writing.


Further Reading:

Why Writing Daily Can Improve Your Health

New York Times A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day

The Change Blog’s How Gratitude Can Change Your Life

Original study by Dr R. Emmons (University of California, Davis)

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