Gratitude Improves Digestion
Gratitude has powerful effects on our health. Taking a moment here and there to feel grateful for what you have can reduce stress which is often held in the stomach. That means adding a gratitude practice to your life actually improves your digestion!
Thanksgiving is a beautiful time to be surrounded by family and friends, and being grateful and thankful clears and lifts away all the negative energy or heaviness we may be carrying through our lives. It’s helpful that we have time in our culture for this focus, and it is a lovely reminder to continue sprinkling gratitude throughout
each and every day.
William Arthur Ward said
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”
That’s why we make it a practice! This way, gratitude becomes one of the most influential ways of relating to our well being and health.
Every morning when I get up and every evening before I go to sleep, I write in my journal the details of what I’m grateful for. Sometimes it’s an extensive list, and sometimes it is simply that I’m alive and have another day to look forward to tomorrow.
Morning gratitude helps me to go on with my day and helps me create a good attitude looking towards my new day. Evening gratitude helps me put to rest what is on my mind and to fall asleep more easily.
It’s truly amazing how the physical body will change when you focus on appreciation and responding to life with a positive attitude. As I mentioned before, when gratitude reduces the tension and stress in your stomach, it can also reduce PMS, help you sleep better and help keep your hormones balanced. It’s all connected and can have a cascading effect on your whole life, one step at a time.
Dr. Sara Gottfried says “An attitude of gratitude upgrades your hormones, from oxytocin to cortisol, and your neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin.
Recent data suggests gratitude provides the behavioral and psychological ‘glue’—oxytocin is associated with promoting the glue that connects adults in meaningful relationships. Not surprisingly, gratitude increases blood flow and activity in the hypothalamus, the master gland that controls hormones”
Isn’t that amazing? Gratitude is truly a superpower. It helps us all make more generous assumptions, connect deeper with the people in our lives, reduce aggression, and build better relationships.
I know for sure there are times when feeling or expressing gratitude is not at all easy. We all have days where nothing goes the way we want it to, and even a small gratitude practice is difficult.
That may be the best time to tune into your body, take 5 minutes to make a list of what you could be grateful for, and really pay attention to how you feel at the end of that short practice. Just like anything, the time when you don’t want to do it may be the most important time to practice. It will absolutely help you to be less anxious, and it will open the door to seeing your life from a different perspective.
It always makes me happy when I see my clients incorporating gratitude into their daily routine. They seem so much happier and appreciative.
Gratitude is good for you!
It is best to create a daily habit of incorporating gratitude into your perspective. Why not invite more joy, abundance, wealth, health, and vitality into your life?
Here are some ideas on how to take a couple of minutes in the morning and in the evening to focus on what you feel grateful for:
- Write down your gratitude in a journal (that is my favorite one! Sometimes I go back to it and reread it, and it makes me happy!)
- Buy a big jar and make it your “gratitude jar.” Write what you’re grateful for on a small piece of paper, then toss it in the jar
- Spend time in nature, sit by a tree and express your thanks for anything and everything that comes to mind
- Say thank you to your friends and colleagues
- Give a compliment to someone - it can change that person's entire day - sometimes even save a life!
- Say thank you before every meal you eat
- Take a bath and say thank you to your body
Here are some ideas for inspiring thoughts of gratitude:
Reflect on what went well in your day, then ask yourself:
- What can I learn from the challenges I currently experience?
- What do I like about myself?
- Who are my favorite people and why?
- How do I express gratitude for my relationships?
- What am I especially good at?
Gratitudes don’t have to be big. They are best sprinkled around through your day and your year, in all your interactions. You can find plenty of opportunities to be grateful, and it can have a radically positive impact on your body, your mind, and your whole life!
What I’m grateful that I live in such a beautiful place. I love spending time in nature, I love the mountains, and I enjoy hiking with my dog! Gratitude practice fills me with so much happiness.
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