As Thanksgiving approaches, it is a chance for us to humbly appreciate the surrounding blessings that have enriched our lives and brought us a sense of happiness, peace, love and hope. Gratitude contains so much depth and healing power, that it should not just be reserved for once a year, however, but practiced daily.
Over a decade of research has shown that cultivating gratitude, especially in a habitual way, has offered immense physical, psychological and social benefits. The best part about this practice is that there is no right or wrong way to do it! The more committed you are to getting into a state of reflection and acknowledgment, the deeper you can go.
What is Gratitude and Why is it So Important?
According to Dr. Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, the definition of gratitude consists of two components. First, gratitude is an affirmation of goodness. We acknowledge that there are good things in the world (seeing with an abundance mindset) and look upon all that we have received, as gifts. Secondly, we identify where the goodness comes from, accepting that the sources of goodness come from outside of ourselves. This humble gesture of turning a positive focus and appreciation onto others, rather than ourselves, including even a spiritual higher power (if you are of that mindset), can bring many fruitful rewards.
Significant research has proven that people who practice gratitude consistently experience the following benefits:
- Stronger immunity
- Higher pain threshold
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved heart and physical health
- Better quality of sleep
- More positive emotions
- Increased alertness
- Improved happiness and optimism
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increased resilience and mental strength
- Higher self-esteem
- Increased sense of compassionate and giving
- More friendly and approachable
- Decreased feelings of loneliness
- Improved personal and working relationships
During the month of November, Fitspot is practicing gratitude. Follow our series here.
Danielle is a contributing content writer for Fitspot. She is a former journalist and professional opera singer. Danielle is passionate about whole body wellness and understands the critical role optimal health plays in having the immunity, energy and stamina to excel on stage and off! Running, hiking and yoga are her favorite activities. Danielle resides in New York City and is always on the hunt for the best new coffee spot.