Gratitude and Health - Does it Really Make a Difference?

Welcome to another week in wellness with Purely Simple Organic Living! We wanted to start this post by thanking all of our readers for following along with our blog posts each week and providing us with incredible feedback along the way.

With that, we will segue into our topic of the week: gratitude!

What if you spent less time complaining and more time enjoying life? What if I told you that incorporating a gratitude practice into your daily routine could help you unlock your best self? What if I told you there are both emotional and physical benefits to practicing gratitude? So for those wondering, YES, gratitude does make a difference in your health!

While saying “thank you” and “I appreciate it” are ways to show gratitude, gratitude can also be a life orientation towards appreciating and noticing the all positive things in life. To practice gratitude simply means to do it with intention.

Think of it as something you practice as you might practice meditation or yoga. A simple mindframe shift from “I hate Mondays” to “I am grateful that I get to spend another day on Earth” is one way to start generating more positivity in your life, and, in turn, attract positive energy! For this blog, we will talk about some of the benefits of gratitude practices, as well as suggestions on how to incorporate it in your daily life!

What are the Benefits of Gratitude?

Research on the daily practice of gratitude has been growing in recent years, and the benefits have been measurable. Robert Emmons, UC Davis psychologist and leading scientific expert on gratitude, has found that gratitude has many positive effects on a person’s physical, psychological, and social wellbeing1.

Some of these cited effects are improved sleep, strengthened immune system, lower blood pressure, increased optimism and positive emotions, improved social life, and less feelings of isolation, among others1. Feelings of gratitude block out the toxic, negative emotions that extinguish our happiness–such as envy, regret, and resentment.

It is difficult to feel both grateful and resentful, as these feelings are incompatible!

A 2008 study published in the Journal of Research in Personality also found that gratitude practices can reduce the frequency and duration of episodes of depression, as well as building up resilience in depression onset later in life2.

Some Easy Ways to Practice Gratitude

There are so many things we overlook on the daily that we can stop and be appreciative of. For example, you wake up in the morning and enjoy a nice breakfast of fresh fruit and oatmeal. You can start by expressing gratitude towards the meal for being enjoyable and nourishing to your body.

Now, go back even further and think about all the elements that contributed to you breakfast: the crops, the soil, the farmers, the packagers, the distributors…etc. Now do you see how far gratitude can extend? Taking everyday indulgences and being conscious and appreciative of them and their origins is one way to shift to a gratitude mindset. Below are some other simple ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily life:

Gratitude journal

Gratitude journaling can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction1. For this, you can simply grab a notebook and spend a couple minutes each night jotting down 3 to 5 highlights from your day! These can be as specific or as simple as you would like… “I am thankful for waking up today” or “I am thankful for the time I got to sit in traffic and listen to my favorite song”. This is also a great practice in finding gratitude in seemingly mundane tasks or even difficult times. We recommend the Trybal Gratitude Journal by Alexsys Thompson that features 365 days of guided gratitude journaling practices.

Using Gratitude for Sleep

If you are prone to restless nights or frequently wake up from your sleep, you can utilize thoughts or statements of gratitude to help relax the mind and body. Instead of worrying about how much time you have left to sleep or what all you have to do tomorrow, try thinking of the things you are grateful for when you find yourself awake at night. Try counting how many people, things, events, opportunities in your life you are grateful for. When I do this I find that I am quickly drifting off to sleep before I ever finish my list.

Gratitude Meditations

Use gratitude to enhance your meditation, as contemplative practices often include spending time giving thanks. Take some quiet time to reflect on your blessings and be grateful for the good qualities you possess within yourself.

Saying “Thank You”

Expressing gratitude completes the feeling of connection. Many people in your life have helped you in one way or another. Have you thanked them? It is often easy to express gratitude following acts of service from friends, loved ones, and even strangers. Try thinking of the people you may overlook or take for granted: police force, garbage collectors, store clerks, chefs, etc. A simple “thank you”, a hand-written note, or even giving a donation is a great way to share your gratitude for those who contribute to your life!

Going Forward With Gratitude

By infusing gratitude into your daily life, you will improve your own outlook and also create joy in others’ lives. At Purely Simple Organic Living, we focus on the emotional component of illness as much as we focus on the physical symptoms. Each of our clients are encouraged to practice gratitude techniques as part of their personalized program, as we understand the health benefits of having a gratitude mindset!

The EVOX voice mapping technology we offer is also a highly effective biofeedback process that helps one clear their negative emotional blockages, overcome challenges, and achieve their goals. By removing negative barriers in the mind and body caused by stored stress and emotions, you will open your capacity for feeling positive emotions, like gratitude!

Come see how Purely Simple Organic Living can support you in your wellness needs by scheduling your FREE 30 minute discovery call! We are also offering $50 off all New Client Appointments scheduled in July, as well as $79 urine/saliva testing+face/tongue/nail evaluations!

To book your FREE 30 minute discovery call and learn more about our July specials, call our office at (512)265-0303 opt. 1, and follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest news and promotions!

You can also join our private Facebook group at You Are The Seed to be part of a powerful community and learn to conquer autoimmune disease naturally. Thank you again for reading along and following our blogs! Go forth and be grateful!

Christina Sessums MSW, CNHP, CAHP
Autoimmune Disease Specialist
Call Today: (512) 265-0303
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  1. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_gratitude_is_good/
  2. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/GratitudePDFs/2Wood-GratitudeWell-BeingReview.pdf