By: Shannon Boatwright
Ah…the grateful life!
I’ve blogged in the past about being a “Grateful Groupie” and the importance of having a focus of gratitude in our lives. In addition to that blog entry, I’d like to provide a little more information and inspiration to this beautiful concept of being grateful. I recently came across an article called “4 Reasons to Get Grateful” in the September 2015 issue of All You magazine. The article really helped to open my eyes even more to the benefits of being a grateful human being. Upon reading the article, I immediately thought of things in my own life that totally validate their reasons for being grateful.
Reason 1 – “Being grateful can spark new friendships.”
I experience this on a daily basis with my amazing co-workers at the school where I teach. If it weren’t for the friendship and support of my fellow teachers, I think I would seriously lose my mind in this stressful, middle school environment! We have all bonded on so many levels thanks to sharing our gratefulness for each other’s company and assistance. I truly believe that when you are vocal about your gratefulness for others, it will not only spark an appreciation from those you tell, but can prompt lovely friendships too.
Reason 2 – “Being grateful might lead to fewer aches and pains.”
The article states that, “researchers suspect that those who feel grateful take better care of their bodies.” When we have a grateful outlook, I believe we engage in more positive activities and habits. When the mind and heart are in a positive, thankful state, I really think the body will respond!
Reason 3 – “Being grateful helps you heal.”
I’ve always been a believer that positive thinking leads to positive things! If I’m focused on all the negative things in my life, then YES, chances are I’m going to start physically feeling bad. It never fails with me. But if I hold my focus on the positive things in my life and the things that I am grateful for, I truly believe that positive focus leads to feeling good and even to a state of healing.
Reason 4 – “Being grateful helps you sleep better.”
In my Grateful Groupie entry I mentioned keeping a Gratitude Journal. I need to do better with this! Goodness knows, I need all the help I can get with sleeping better. Shutting off my brain seems to be an impossible task, especially now that I’m deep into the school year again. My mind and subconscious are plagued with to-do lists and worries. Even my dreams are exhausting! The article says,
“A study in the journal Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being found that writing about what you’re thankful for in a journal for 15 minutes each night might help you worry less at bedtime, as well as sleep longer.”
I really believe this to be true! I know for me, I absolutely cannot watch anything stressful on television before I go to bed. No intense dramas, no stressful news shows, NO horror stuff (EVER no matter what time of day!) – no shows remotely negative for me before bedtime! I have too vivid of an imagination. I have to watch something light and fluffy. Only happy stuff for me before bedtime because my mind and subconscious will latch onto what I see before bed and affect me to the core. I even try not to make my “To-Do” list right before I hit the sack because then my mind tends to feel overwhelmed with all that I have to get done. I’ve definitely discovered that if I allow for happy and positive things to enter my crowded mind before I go to sleep, I tend to sleep better. When I allow and remind myself to think of all the things I’m grateful for before I pass out, I go to sleep with a positive vibe instead of a heavy heart.
Let’s face it, folks….it’s time to get grateful! And let’s do it more often. There are just too many benefits to recognizing all the things we have to be thankful for.
Right now, in this moment, think of just three things you are grateful for today – no matter how big or small, deep or trivial. Repeat those three things and allow a smile to brighten your face. I bet you could name more than three things, huh? 😉 That’s the joy in life…despite all the bad nonsense that seems to surround us, there really is a whole lot of good that we should be focusing on!
I challenge you all, myself included, to dedicate more time to being grateful. It will only benefit us on some level! Let’s do it and lead happier, healthier, more fulfilled lives.