SMART LIVING: Unwrapping the science to holiday gratitude

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ORLANDO, Fla. (IVANHOE NEWSWIRE) – The act of expressing gratitude is a powerful force for happiness and emotional well-being.

Scientists specializing in positive psychology have found that individuals who engage in a single act of gratitude experience a 10% reduction in feelings of happiness and a 35% reduction in symptoms of depression. However, to maintain these positive effects long term, it is important to incorporate gratitude into your routine.

Think of your blessings. Set aside time each week to reflect on what you are thankful for. Start with 3-5 specific things and focus on the emotions associated with each.

Write a thank you note. Express your gratitude to the people who have made a positive impact in your life. Whether it’s a letter, email, or simple note, sincerity is key. Make it a habit to send at least one thank you note a month.

Accept prayer. Embracing the uncertainty of the future can be both hopeful and terrifying. Prayer serves as a way to renew your mind and attitude every day, providing comfort in an unfathomable way.

Keep a gratitude journal. Document important moments from your day, creating a tangible record of positivity. In times of stress, your journal serves as a reminder that brighter days are ahead.

Incorporating these gratitude-building practices into your weekly routine will foster a healthy sense of gratitude throughout the year, not just during the holidays. Remember, gratitude isn’t just a mental activity—it has a positive effect on your physical health, too. Studies show that grateful individuals experience fewer aches and pains and exhibit an overall sense of well-being.

Let gratitude be a practice that extends beyond the holiday season, when it means more. By counting your blessings, expressing gratitude, offering prayers, and keeping a gratitude journal, you will cultivate a sense of gratitude that benefits your mental and physical well-being.

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