A Path to Happiness, Health and a Good Night’s Rest
By Polly Jensen | Posted 3.18.2018
It sounds like one of those ads, improve your health, get better sleep and all you have to do is …. Well, in this case, all you need to do is be grateful! It’s as simple as that. Gratitude can make the difference.
Over the past couple of decades, scientists have discovered that if you are regularly grateful for even a month or so, all these things will improve.
Best of all, the practice of gratitude is very easy. The challenge, though, is to keep it going. For some among us, it’s just natural, they are grateful to their core. For the larger, less naturally grateful population, it takes some work. But, who wouldn’t want to give it a try, to get to happier, healthier, and better rested?
How to make it work in your life?
The answer is to tweak your daily gratitude routine in ways that make it work for you. The easiest gratitude exercise is the daily list of three things for which you are grateful. That works for some but not for everyone. We are not all journaling people so daily entries of the three things may never become habit.
On the other hand, recording it on our phone or even asking Alexa to remember it for us, may make all the difference. If you like the daily three things for which you are grateful, look at enlisting technology to help you out. That way, you can even replay and review, to hear how you are changing and growing over time.
If you are a commuter or a runner or have a few minutes of otherwise available mental space each day, open your head and your heart to experience gratitude. You may choose to appreciate your surroundings or the special people in your life. Whether it is a tree that is starting to bud, replaying your team’s successes or the joy your children bring to you, experiencing gratitude happens not just in your head but also in your heart. Here, in fact, you are savoring an experience in a way that you can replay over and over again.
Rather than savoring or writing, you may be a person of action. Have you told your wife, your kids, your parents how much you love them – not just the ‘love you’ as you come and go but a fuller expression of your love. Could be you even give them a token of your love. Maybe, you’ll visit someone for whom you are grateful. Or, in place of a visit, maybe send a note or text or photo. Acting on your heartfelt gratitude is a gift of yourself to another; it changes you and it changes the person whom you’ve thanked.
The key to making gratitude work for your life is to adapt a practice to fit your ways. When you make gratitude a regular practice in your life, you are taking a step to living your days with zest and happiness.