Sounds easy enough but how many of us are truly grateful for what we have, and how many of us struggle with negative thought processes? Probably more than you think as according to studies, a majority of us have over forty thousand thoughts per day and most of these are negative! This is not only a drag on our minds, but also has a huge impact on our physical wellbeing.

So, what’s the secret to feeling on top of the world? The answer is…GRATITUDE!

The Science

Research has shown that feeling grateful for the things in our lives can make us happier, less stressed out, less negative and more positive. More than that, a study from the University of California, San Diego found that people who were grateful were more than just happy – their gratitude affected systems in the body. These included:

• healthier hearts.
• better well-being
• less depression
• less tiredness
• improved sleep
• lower blood pressure
• stronger immune system
• higher level of serotonin (one of your brains’ ‘happy’ chemicals!)
• higher level of reproductive hormones such as testosterone
• higher levels of oxytocin, which is really important for social bonding
• higher levels of dopamine, which means stronger brain function and feelings of pleasure
• lower stress hormones such as cortisol (that’s what we like to hear!)
• healthy blood pressure and heart rhythm
• healthy blood sugar levels

How to Become More Grateful

Modern living has a way of dragging us down but by following these three simple steps, you’ll be able to lock in gratitude until it’s a permanent state of being.

Before you go to be, instead of thinking about the niggly things that happened throughout your day (which we’re all guilty of doing!), instead think about:

The GOOD in your life (sounds obvious, but how often do we actually do this?)
Feel the gratitude from these good thoughts
You’ll fall asleep in a state of gratefulness
Which, will hopefully mean that when you wake up, you’ll be able to bring that feeling of gratitude back, thus starting your day on the right note! The more you practise this, the less effort you’ll have to put into feeling grateful, and the happier you’ll feel.

Other Ways to Increase your Gratitude:

Keep a diary – this is a great way of recognising the things we have that make us happy
Go for walks in nature – being outside in the fresh air increases our connection to our environment, as well as increasing serotonin
Connect with yourself by doing something spiritual or some physical exercise (running in the freezing cold makes you feel alive!)
Think of three things every day that you’re grateful for
Laugh a lot

Why Now is the Perfect Time to Start!

Christmas can be a stressful time for many with financial strains or family politics to navigate. Why not put our points into practise and fill yourself with gratitude starting from today. That way, you’ll be able to brush off any stresses and strains with a smile on your face!

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