Count Your Blessings
Do you tend to focus more on what isn’t working in your life than on what is working? If so, a dose of gratitude may be just what the doctor ordered. Studies have shown that grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors: regular exercise, healthy diet, and regular physical examinations. Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, and optimism boosts the immune system. People who keep gratitude journals exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and maintain greater optimism about the future.
To cultivate gratitude …
- Keep a daily gratitude journal. List 3-5 things for which you are grateful. You can write at the beginning or end of the day, or even add to your list throughout the day.
- Make a list of the benefits in your life and ask “to what extent do I take these things for granted?”
- Use reminders. Post lists of your blessings around your house, office, or even in your car. Set your computer or phone to beep once or twice a day, to prompt you to stop and count your blessings.
What is going well in your life?