Blog #81 Thankfulness as a Healing Perspective
Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays, reminds us to be thankful for the many things that we may sometimes take for granted. Especially around Thanksgiving, I make an effort to look for all the ways in which I am fortunate: I am reasonably healthy and of sound mind, live in a country that is reasonably prosperous, have a lot of freedom to pursue experiences, make choices, live with integrity and much more.
Gratitude can benefit us in many ways. For one thing, a thankful attitude can improve our physical health. According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than less grateful people. They are also more likely to take care of their health by exercising regularly and having regular check ups with their chosen health care provider. Also, according to a study in the journal, Applied Psychology: Health and Well-being, grateful people tend to sleep better. Making a list of ten or more things for which you are thankful right before falling asleep may result in sounder and longer sleep.
When we feel appreciative, we tend to be more relaxed, and this helps our internal organs function more efficiently. It also helps improve blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, digestion, absorption, elimination, and much more. A grateful attitude can affect blood pressure. If you dare, think of something in a complaining, resentful way and take your blood pressure. Then, wait a few minutes and think of the same thing from a perspective of gratitude. Take your blood pressure again. Often, you will note that your blood pressure elevates with the resentful attitude and goes down with a grateful attitude. It is important, however, to not just think thankful words – the thanks must also be felt from the heart, on an emotional level.
Consider feeling/expressing more gratitude all through the holiday season and into the New Year. You might make one of your resolutions to view every event and situation from a grateful perspective. Being more calm and centered because of a more grateful attitude can be helpful in improving difficult situations. Just because we see something positive in a situation doesn’t mean that we should put our heads in the sand and not work to address an unfortunate event or change a situation for the better.
This blog’s offer: feel free to contact me with further questions about this material. You also might consider hypnosis or self-hypnosis as tools to support the cultivation of a more grateful perspective on life.