There are many health benefits to living a life of gratitude

Written by Donna Golob. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on November 24, 2021 with No Comments

Enhance your own life and the lives of those around you

by Donna Golob, CEO of A Positive Approach to Teen Health (PATH)

Gratefulness brings happiness and a deep knowing that life is beautiful. Being grateful is a sense of appreciating how much we have—when we are not taking our blessings for granted. So, when we don’t take things with this feeling of gratefulness, when we don’t see life as such a blessing, it’s generally because we have so much and we take it for granted. We are missing contentment.

It has also been proven that there are many health benefits to living a life of gratitude.  Here are just a few:

*The benefits of a gratitude practice

improve sleep quality.

improve emotional regulation.

increase feelings of happiness and positive mood.

foster hope for the future.

reduce stress, burnout, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

increase resilience.

*(https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-gratitude-practice)

To experience the benefits of gratitude, we have to practice gratefulness regularly because it doesn’t come automatically for most of us. We tend to see ourselves as the body and the mind. For example, we see ourselves in terms of—I’m rich, I’m poor, I’m tall, I’m short, I’m fat, I’m skinny, I’m smart, I’m friendly, etc. We generally see ourselves as the body and the mind, and the mind doesn’t know gratitude because gratefulness is of the heart.

If you want to feel gratitude, you have to know how to practice gratitude and you have to work at it. It’s a lot like gardening; you have to tend to the weeds if the flowers are going to grow.  In the same way, if you just let yourself go, just let your life be, then you won’t have any gratitude. So, gratitude is a good thing, but you have to work at it. You have to remind yourself every day, “I have so much to be thankful for!” “I am blessed to be alive!” “I am blessed with family and friends.”  “I am blessed with a job and the ability to provide for myself.” It’s taking the time to recognize what you have and to be thankful.

Here are a few ideas for starting your gratitude journey: 

30 second morning contemplation

When you first wake up take 30 seconds to remind yourself how blessed you are.

Be purposeful; push past the immediate feelings of being groggy and tired.

Decide “I’m going to give my best today and it’s going to be a great day!”

Weed the garden (your mind) of negative thoughts. 

Switch off your mind

Gratefulness is of the heart, so anything that helps to switch off your mind will tap into the gratefulness of your heart. 

Practice meditation and mindfulness. It allows you to live in the moment and control your thoughts, removing the negative thinking and focusing on the positive.

Mealtime Gratitude

Recognize the blessing of nourishment.  

The pleasure of the tastes.

Maybe the company at the table or the environment. 

Practice Kindness & Selflessness

Give to others; this connects the heart to life.

Serve others, selfless acts of kindness. 

In giving and serving we disconnect our minds and connect to our hearts. Seeing and putting the needs of others before our own will inspire an attitude of gratitude. Do kind deeds for others whenever the opportunity arises. The acts of kindness don’t need to be grand but can be as simple as helping a stranger carry their shopping or interacting kindly with the staff at the supermarket or restaurant. This then becomes a daily gratitude practice, bringing joy to yourself and others.

Amongst my many blessings is the opportunity to share these brief moments with you through these articles.  I trust that you enjoy them and find them beneficial.  If you have specific topics of interest that you would like to see featured, please feel free to reach out and contact me.

May your homes be filled with gratitude, peace & health ~

Happy Thanksgiving!

Donna

Donna@PositiveTeenHealth.org

Donna Golob is the CEO of A Positive Approach to Teen Health (PATH).  Donna holds a degree in Nonprofit Executive Management from IUPUI.  She is also a certified QPR Gatekeeper Trainer and an ASIST suicide awareness and prevention trainer. Donna enjoys bringing her perspective and experience with SEL, team building, communication skills and leadership to parents and youth serving professionals. Donna is committed to making a positive impact in the lives of others; encouraging them to recognize their value and reach their full potential.  She is happily married (36 years) to Rob, has 3 grown children and 4 amazing grandchildren.

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About Donna Golob

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Donna Golob is the executive director for A Positive Approach to Teen Health (PATH). For more information, visit www.pathblazer.org.

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