When life gets overwhelming (which for some of us is often!) it's easy to forget the important stuff: the blessings, large and small, that help define your life.
You get more out of expressing gratitude or the simple act of being aware of the things you have in your life to be thankful for.
- It helps you feel in control: studies show that people who wrote a letter acknowledging their gratitude once a week felt more autonomous than did those who did not. It suggest they started to take credit for the good things in their own lives.
- It improves your health: people who keep gratitude journals tend to exercise an average of 33 percent more each week and sleep a half hour more each night according to a Psychology professor from UC, Davis. They also report more energy and vitality.
- It helps you cope better with trauma: painful memories are less likely to surface – and are less intense when they do – in those who are regularly grateful. If you are focused on what's good in your life at present, you're better able to neutralize negative emotions from the past.
- It bolsters self-worth and self-esteem: if you count your blessings, then instead of becoming negative at the first sign of difficulty, you can concentrate on the things you value most.
- It keeps you focussing on the things you want more of in your life rather than focussing on the things that are missing. The more you feed something with thought, the more it grows.
- It helps you stay mindful – this means noticing the moments you are experiencing, the people you are with, the food you are eating, world you are in. You begin looking for things to be grateful for – and that makes you much more mindful of the live you are living.
So take a moment to turn off your technology, put aside your to-do list and reflect on what you are grateful for.