- Truth Theory
- Thursday, 26 November 2015 14:10
Happy thanks giving to all the Americans reading this and also to all the non-Americans who have landed on this page.
The concept of Thanks Giving is a great one in which we all take time out to express a feeling of gratitude and appreciation for what we have. The concept of this is great and very hard to fault. But what if I was to tell you that you may be able to live an all-round better quality of life if you live this occasion out on a daily basis.
I am not talking turkey, extended family showing up at your house and drunken family members falling asleep while watching TV. No I am talking about the giving thanks part and expressing gratitude for all that you have.
Gratitude has become quite popular in recent years, a lot of people are talking about it, articles, books and videos are being made about it, even courses are being sold on how to show gratitude. Ultimately you don’t need such complex solutions unless you want to understand the mechanics behind it, all you need is a pen and piece of paper or in my case, just a mind to express gratitude daily.
This article is not going to tell you how to express gratitude, that’s the easy part. It will tell you why you should be expressing gratitude and the effect it will have on your life.
Rewires Your Brain-
Someone who looks at the world with gratitude will find something to be grateful for out of a tragedy, while someone who has an ungrateful world view can find something to be upset about even when everything is going their way.
Expressing regular gratitude literally changes your outlook and allows you to find something to be happy about, even if your external circumstances are not ideal.
But that is not it according to Vanessa Loder Co-Founder of Mindfulness Based Achievement-
“Scientists have now shown, we can literally rewire the neural pathways that regulate our emotions, thoughts, and reactions. This means we can create new neural pathways – highways in our brain – that lead us to compassion, gratitude, and joy instead of anxiety, fear, and anger.”
Allows Us To See Things We Usually Miss-
Gratitude gives you a moment to take in the world around you and show that you appreciate it. When first expressing gratitude you can take the big things like family, friends, job and home. But once you get through the big things you have to start digging, so suddenly your window view, a conversation, or a glass of water can become a blessing.
It is easy to miss the simple things, we all do it! But when you consciously go out of your way to find the blessings it changes your entire perspective of your life.
Improved Physical Health-
A thought is an electromagnetic pulse which your brain produces. Quantum physics has taught us that while we may look like big balls of mass, we are indeed balls of energy held together by atoms.
Implying this logic it makes a lot of sense that if we provide our body with positive electromagnetic charges (thoughts) over negative ones we will indeed be more physically healthy.
But this is not just my opinion according to Emmons & McCullough who have studied over one thousand regular practitioners of gratitude, those who practice consistently report benefits such as-
• Stronger immune systems
• Less bothered by aches and pains
• Lower blood pressure
• Exercise more and take better care of their health
• Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
Maybe it doesn’t actually lower stress, but what it does is allows you to look at stress differently. Or to put it another way, it allows you to view the good in your life even if stress is present.
Stress is not one thing, it is an accumulation of events that lead to a feeling of stress. Maybe your job is stressful, but that is just a fragment of what leads to being stressed. Gratitude is like an interruption that works to separate stressful events, which leads you to lower stress.
What you can do right now to start finding more gratitude in your life is to add it to your morning routine, if you have any morning ritual make an effort to practice gratitude after. This can be as simple as saying it to yourself or you can write it down if that works better for you.