Writing about gratitude is one of our favorite things to do. Why are we so grateful about gratitude? Expressing gratitude is perhaps one of the most powerful things you can do to enhance your health—and you will find more joy and happiness in the process!
We’re not the only ones interested in this mental health magic bullet. Researchers across the world have become fascinated with their ability to actually link being grateful and expressing gratitude to physical health. In 2013, Swiss researchers found that people who felt grateful also participated in healthy activities and were in better physical health. A 2011 study showed that people who wrote in a gratitude journal for 15 minutes before bedtime had a significantly better night’s sleep. A 2009 study demonstrated that even in people with sleep disorders, those who counted their blessings before bed had better sleep quality and slept longer. A 2015 study also showed that people who practiced gratitude not only improved their sleep quality they also had lower blood pressure and felt more optimistic. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to gratitude research.
Of course it makes sense that being grateful is a lot better than being thoughtless, rude and callous! But sometimes, life gets in the way and we actually forget to be grateful. So, we have a simple project that may help get those gratitude juices flowing. Try creating a gratitude jar!
Get the biggest glass jar or glass container you can find and next to it put slips of colorful paper and a pen. Every time you feel grateful for something or someone, write it down and put it in the jar. You may also want to set aside a few minutes every day to jot down what you are thankful for.
Find the perfect place to put your jar. Some people put it next to their bed so in the morning and at night they look at the jar and add to it. Have fun decorating your jar but be sure you can always see what’s inside. Those are the reminders we need, especially on days when we are distracted by not-enough thoughts—not enough time; not enough money; not enough love. And then, at the end of each month, take a few minutes, sit down, relax and read the notes you’ve placed in the jar. Savor each note as you imprint your brain with these positive thoughts of gratitude, fulfillment, and bounty. We you experience an infusion of gratitude in each and every day of the year!