When we think about our health, we think in terms of what we're eating, what we're drinking, how much we're exercising -- but we rarely think about our health being related to what we think about.
If this is not something you consider regularly, start really digging deep into the idea that your thoughts, your attitude, and your mental tone have an incredible amount of power over your health.
The best place to start is with gratitude. We all have something to be grateful for, so it's the perfect place to begin.
Here’s why gratitude is so essential to your health...
1. It boosts feelings of satisfaction
Show your gratitude by putting it in writing. Get out your thank you cards and start writing. Write them to your kids’ teachers. Write one to your parents, to your spouse, your best friend. Writing letters of gratitude will ensure you feel good inside and out, and you'll be spreading those good feelings to those you're writing to.
2. It builds relationships
Find ways to weave in expressing gratitude for those things people do for you that you appreciate. Even if it's just your kids putting the dishes in the dishwasher for you -- express your gratitude. It will motivate them to keep doing more, and it will reduce your stress by seeing the good in things.
3. It helps your mental wellness
Taking a moment to be thankful for the things you have despite the challenges is good for your mental health and well-being. Sometimes it can be hard to see the good things in life, so keep a journal if necessary and write things down. When you feel low, you can flip through it and find something to smile about. As an added bonus, it boosts more than your mood by increasing energy levels too.
4. You’ll sleep better
When you find things to be grateful for instead of focusing on the negativity, it allows your mind to relax. This, in turn, leads to better sleep. Try writing a gratitude list before you go to bed to use this power to your advantage so you can fall asleep faster.
5. It can help you with your exercise too
With recognition for things that you’re grateful for, you feel happier. Feeling happier gives you more energy, and hence, it will keep you feeling good about your workouts too. Sometimes the only thing we need is the motivation to START the workout, and a positive attitude helps get you there.
Don't mistake this for feeling like you have to be positive 24/7. Other emotions are real, necessary, and deserve to be honored. By all means, feel your feelings and healthily work through them -- but choosing to practice gratitude daily will positively shift things.
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." Oprah Winfrey