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The Health Benefits of Gratitude

Gratitude is the hinge upon which a healthy life swings.”

Anonymous

Gratitude is a skill, that when mastered fully, makes us more spiritually aware. It provides us interconnectedness with all aspects of life, as well as our wellbeing, on physical, emotional, spiritual, or relational levels. Part of the virtue of cultivating gratitude is its health benefits, including:

    • Self-care: Grateful people tend to take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors.
    • Less Stress: Research shows that feelings of gratitude have a tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily stressors.
    • Immunity Enhancer: Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system.

So how can you adopt an attitude of gratitude? Here are a few suggestions:

Keep a Gratitude Journal. Write down 3-5 things each day that you are grateful for. Try to list different things from day to day. You don’t have to get all introspective. Being grateful for a great parking space counts!

grateful_journal

Say Grace: Instead of rushing though your prayer, “Good food, good meat, good God let’s eat,” really become mindful of your meal and experience gratitude for all the abundance in your life and for the opportunity to nourish your body. Use your senses as you do this.

Set a Gratitude Reminder: You can go the old-school route by wearing a string around your wrist and when you become aware of it throughout the day, noticesomething about the present that you are grateful for. Or, you can use a smart phone with a pre-programmed “thank you” chime.

The Thank You Note: No, it doesn’t have to be on fancy, engraved, personalized note cards. Just get in the habit of sending quick thank-you notes via email, text, sticky notes, etc. Try random, anonymous thank-you notes to local shop owners, waiters, or federal/state employees who have given you good service

The Gratitude Scroll: This is a great project for you and your children to do together. Tape several pieces of paper together and roll them up. Each day both you and your children write several new things you are grateful for. As the list lengthens, add more paper to the scroll so that it’s a continuous work in process.

Since it remains important to practice what you preach, I think it only fitting that I end this blog by expressing my gratitude for H3. It is an amazing work environment filled with passionate employees and committed guests. I love my job.

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