Have you taken time to reflect on the things and people you are grateful for in your life? Being thankful and grateful can boost your health, quality of life, and lifespan. Gratitude is a popular approach to improving one’s sense of calm and serenity. A few health-related benefits of gratitude include improvements in physical and psychological health, enhancements in empathy, sleep, self-esteem, and mental strength – while also reducing aggression and negative self-talk. Even the top biohackers (who manipulate the body ‘s biology and physiology) in the world swear by the focus on gratitude as a daily proactive way to help the body, mind, and spirit.
Slowing down and appreciating all the safety, security, and love that our home and family brings us can have lasting effects in our mental and physical health and wellbeing. At all stages of life, we are most grateful for family and friends. During childhood, girls focus on relationships more and boys focus on things. As we go through adulthood, adults are thankful for the health of their family, family relationships, technology, and their personal economic situation. As we sunset on our life we tend to enjoy the little things such as being at home and feeling important to others.
So, make a list of 3-5 things you are thankful for each day and focus your gratitude towards them throughout the day. You can also write a letter to someone each week whom you are grateful. Let them know how appreciative you are to them for the meaningful experiences, lessons, and/or friendship.
The following are ways that you can express gratitude in your life.
- Say a kind word or thank you to another person
- Stay positive, even in negative situations
- Include others in planning
- Email, text, call, or stop and check-in
- Practice empathy and compassion in your day
- Pick flowers, drop off food, or stop in and visit with friends and family
- Pay it forward and buy someone’s lunch, an experience, etc.
- Assist others when they need help with a project
For example, in the morning, be thankful and grateful for being awake and being able to drink clean safe water and walk outside and breathe some fresh air and listen to the birds and enjoy nature. During the day, be positive and say kind words and use manners with others and include them in group activities and planning. As you hear things, be empathetic and show compassion toward those affected and do positive things for others like help with a project, buy someone lunch, or drop off a meal to a friend. Gratitude opens the doors to more relationships.
Try taking time each day to be purposely grateful and practicing intention to others. When your mind wonders into negative talk, bring yourself back with positive thoughts on being grateful for where you are today. For example, when you believe there is a problem and you worry, think of it as an opportunity to learn and do better and create a quick, easy solution and move on. Focus your intension toward positive thoughts and movement forward.
You have an opportunity to cultivate gratitude today! Focus on the things you have in your life currently and do not think about the things you want or feel you deserve. Your attitude towards gratitude will improve your satisfaction in life. We are grateful that you are reading the RF&G Life Blog and hope that this material is informative and helpful in your journey to health and wellbeing. We are also grateful for our policy holders and employees for trusting in us to provide a healthy and grateful workplace.