Research shows the act of gratitude makes you happier, healthier, motivated, sleep better, exercise more, fewer aches and pains… and gives you back your time
As Barbara Lee Fredrickson, the author of Positivity says
What you choose to focus on exerts significant leverage on your attitude going forward
But how could you possibly fit in another thing into your day…
Understanding the Value of Gratitude
Before you dismiss gratitude as another woo woo activity, let’s take a look at the research behind gratitude…
The following brief summaries of the effects of gratitude are 4 out of 100’s of studies done proving that gratitude has a positive effect on our lives…
1. A study by American researchers, Emmons and McCullough in 2003 was for a group of people keep a daily gratitude journal.
The results in a short period of time showed an increase in determination, attention, enthusiasm, optimism and energy…
Simply put… they learnt to appreciate what they had.
2. The next study was by a group of Chinese researchers (Ng et al, 2012) looking at how gratitude affected anxiety and depression
They found that gratitude didn’t necessarily improve anxiety and depression directly but it did improve sleep patterns.
This, in turn, had a positive effect on both anxiety and depression.
3. The next study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) proved that with gratitude there were higher levels of activity in certain parts of the brain like the hypothalamus. The function of the hypothalamus is to control bodily functions.
This evidence on brain activity made it clear how an increase in gratitude could have such wide-ranging effects as increased exercise and improved sleep to decreased depression and fewer aches and pains.
4. And then… there is the chemical in the brain called dopamine that is released when someone is grateful.
Dopamine is known as the rewards, pleasure, happiness or feel-good chemical.
And what happens is… when we’re feeling grateful, and feeling good on regular basis our brain releases more dopamine and starts looking for more things to be grateful for to make us feel good more often.
In summary, there is evidence to prove the positive effects of gratitude on our daily lives like…
Increased motivation, determination, attention, enthusiasm…
Now that we know gratitude is good for our health all-round…
How and When to Practice Gratitude?
1. Start with simple phrases…
I’m grateful for my health
I’m grateful for my friends and family
I’m grateful for the beautiful day
I’m grateful for that I can hear the beautiful birds sing
I’m grateful that I have food
and if you get stuck with the word grateful… change the word to…
I appreciate…. I like… I love… I am thankful for…
This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen it before. Maya Angelou
The other day I wrote out a list of 100 likes.
I thought I would struggle before I got to 100 but I was still powering along… and I was feeling good
That day was an incredibly productive day 🙂
Many people feel that in order for them to appreciate what they have they must help those less fortunate.
University of Pennsylvania professor, Martin Seligman, supports this theory with his research in Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being.
After testing different things to help improve our well-being, he found that volunteering is the single most reliable way to increase your well-being.
In other words: helping others helps you!
3. Overcoming Roadblocks
We all come across roadblocks, where we just don’t know how to move ahead.
Ask yourself in relation to the roadblock…
What am I good at that will help me solve a part of this problem?
Be grateful for your abilities then be grateful for the new skill you are about to learn
This will help you move forward with a new attitude
Gratitude Every Day
As gratitude plays a big part in improving happiness, my belief is that is should be a part of everyone’s day
In the home… where we learn to appreciate what we have
In school… where children learn to appreciate each other.
Children form habits and beliefs from a very young age.
What better a habit to teach a child than to be grateful for what they have and for each other from a very early age.
How Does Gratitude Impact Our Time?
Gratitude takes just one minute a day
But the result of daily gratitude can save you hours and hours of time in the day.
A day started with gratitude and happiness is a lot more likely to flow than a day started with stress.
Now isn’t that worth giving a go seeming nobody has time to waste?
PS. did you know that the word ‘Time’ is the most commonly used noun in the English Language?
Let’s stop wasting time and start on the right foot… feeling grateful… feeling happy.
Next Step to Gratitude and Time in Business
Gratitude is a great start to taking action.
Action is the foundational key to all success. Pablo Picasso
And taking action is the only way to bringing us Time Freedom
If you’re a mother in business unsure if the action you are currently taking is on the right path to Time Freedom, then click here to find out more.
About the Author: I'm a mother and a business owner, since 25 years :0 I've had my fair share of ups and downs but I'm lucky... I've found the perfect mix... to balance and time. It all starts with a plan and a strategy, for business, one that works for you, the mother in business. This is it... “The Flexibility Formula”, go download it, it's yours... free.
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