Give Yourself a Gratitude Reboot!

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Give Yourself a Gratitude Reboot!

With the New Year just days away, instead of resolving to change our bad habits – eat less, exercise more and stop stressing out, we suggest a gratitude makeover.

It turns out that by integrating gratitude into your every day you actually will be healthier, more deeply spiritual and lead a more abundant life. And you will be so much happier! Consider this about grateful people:

  • Grateful people have 10 percent fewer stress-related illnesses.
  • They are more physically fit.
  • Their blood pressure is lower by 12 percent.
  • Every 10 years you practice gratitude adds five years to your life.

How do you reboot your life with gratitude?  We offer these 3 ways grateful people we talked to for this book did exactly that. We’re inspired by their practices and hope you will find them transforming too.

  1. Falling Asleep, Gratefully.

Before bed each night, Holly takes time to review her day and to review the gifts she has received. It’s a practice she started to stave off the insomnia and middle-of-the-night awakenings when she couldn’t get herself back to sleep. Instead of tossing and turning, she starts with the letter, “A” and thinks of something she is grateful for. To do this, proceed through the alphabet with “B,” “C,” etc. “Regardless of our evaluation of the day – good, bad, mediocre – we can call forth the blessings that were present. This practice transforms our consciousness as it reveals at the heart of our lives,” according to the DailyOm.com.

2. Feel the Gratitude Burn.

Try incorporating gratitude as a first step in an exercise program. While you are lacing up your running shoes for a trip to the gym or to ride your bike, or head to a spin class, give thanks for your feet, your legs, the tendons that connect them, and the bones that give them structure. Thank yourself for taking care of your body, and acknowledging that saying “thanks” in a form of exercise too – one that has just as many health dividends as your workout!

3. Getting to the Soul of Your Gratitude.

Bring to mind a time when you felt very grateful. You may have received good news about a friend or family member, or perhaps you were surprised by a wonderful gift from someone you care about. Relive that experience as if it is happening now. Notice feelings and physical sensations as you vividly recall this experience of gratitude. Experience this from your head to your toes for two to four minutes, or as long as you would like. Then let go of this memory, but continue to relax into the positive sensations that feeling grateful evokes in you. At various points throughout every day, take a minute or two to bring this experience into your awareness. This will help you have many bright moments on the days you do this practice.

Happy New Year! We hope you will draw inspiration from these simple gratitude practices and find 2015 filled with blessings!

A Serving of Gratitude Can Keep the Doctor Away

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imagesThere are numerous studies taking place right now that are establishing the connection between gratitude and health.

The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley—in collaboration with UC Davis—launched a $5.6 million, three-year project, Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude. The project is supported with funding from the John Templeton Foundation.

Nina  attended the Greater Good Science Center’s Gratitude Summit a few months ago where leading researchers and scientists discussed studies which centered on ways gratitude correlates with biological markers of health. Naomi Eisenberger, director of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at UCLA — who is using gene expression and brain-scanning measures to examine some of the biological and neural underpinnings of gratitude — is one of the grant recipients.

Another one is Dr. Jeff Huffman from Harvard Medical School who conducted a study on the impact of gratitude in people who had recently suffered a heart attack. He found that patients who are more grateful healed faster and were less likely to have another heart attack.

Our book includes information that establishes empirically what we have always known intuitively and discovered through our own research – that saying “thank you” is good for your health. What other scientific studies have caught your attention?