Feelings of gratitude release positive endorphins throughout the body, creating health. ~Sharon Huffman
Barbara Fredrickson, social psychologist and positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, published a paper on the power of positive thinking and its impact on your skills. Indeed, having a positive attitude and one of gratitude does wonders for your health and overall well being. Fredrickson’s research showed that when people experience positive emotions like joy, contentment and love, we see the positive and possibilities around us.
It’s true. Just feeling thankful has the power to make us continue to feel positive and perhaps even younger. Don’t you feel younger when you are smiling and enjoying life? Being grateful creates inner happiness that transfers itself throughout your body. Therefor, gratitude improves our moods because it helps us focus on the good things around us and equips us with a better ability to see the blessings and positive things rather than dwell on negative circumstances; thus we stay positive.
Gratitude truly optimizes our health. Positive emotions strengthen and enhance the immune system through the release of endorphins into the blood stream! Endorphins are sort of like our bodies natural painkillers. Conversely, negative emotions reduce the number of endorphins and slow down the white blood cells in our bloodstreams and may contribute to heart disease and stroke due to the high levels of adrenaline. Fredrickson hypothesizes that our positive emotions can actually undo the cardiovascular effects of these negative emotions.
In short, the more we feel a sense of gratitude, the more endorphins we have and less adrenaline; thus, healthier lives!
Occasionally, I’ll share a few tips with you to help you keep motivated in keeping your journal and making sure it stays a positive experience for you to help focus on thanksgiving rather than the complaining so many of us in today’s society takes part in.
Today’s Gratitude Journal Tip: Turn Negatives into positives! If you are having a bad day, it will be harder to write your 3-5 positive things in your gratitude journal but you can do it! It may seem difficult at first, but the more you do it, the easier and more natural it becomes.
Instead of seeing and writing “I’m still unemployed,” you might write, “I was able to pay the rent this month.”
Instead of “The living room is trashed because there were 3 neighbor kids over and no one put anything away,” you could think and write “Joy was had here.”
Instead of “The milk spilled all over,” you could focus on “The floor is now clean and shiny.”
- Lively discussion with over 100 members of my book study!! https://www.facebook.com/groups/1112029392194451/
- Bubble baths
- Oolong tea
- A child recognizing his mother’s frustration and offering comfort.
- Being told by someone that he understands how I feel.
Every little thing we turn around could make a huge impact on our road to becoming a person of gratitude. What negative aspect of your day today can you turn around for your gratitude journal?