The Health Benefits of Gratitude

One of my favorite wellness practices is cultivating an attitude of gratitude.

Cover of "Simple Abundance:  A Daybook of...

Cover via Amazon

I first became aware of the importance of conscious gratitude when I read a lovely little book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, and began keeping a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, I’d pick 5 things I was grateful for that day and list them in my journal. I discovered from this practice just how much I had to be grateful for, and began to realize how good my life was.

Eventually this became a habit each evening, and I stopped writing it down. As I was drifting off to sleep I’d recall the 5 things I was most grateful for that day, and give thanks – sort of like a prayer. The hardest part was limiting myself to only 5 things…so I didn’t.

After a while I found myself automatically saying a little prayer of thanks every time something good happened. Got a close parking spot when I was running late? Thanks so much! Received an answer from an unexpected source to a question I’d been wondering about? Yay! I really appreciated that. đŸ™‚ Found something I thought I’d lost? Thank you!!

Whether you give thanks to God, your angels or spirit guides, the Universe, or some other higher power, recognizing these gifts when they happen has a positive effect on your mental, spiritual and physical health. For me, I found I became happier. And happier people generally enjoy better health. I felt blessed. And I feel like acknowledging these events attracted more nice things to me.

Deep, huh?

Everyone has something to be grateful for. Even if you feel like everything is going wrong in your life, dig deep. Be thankful for a sunny day. Give thanks for having shoes to wear (not everyone does). You may be homeless but be thankful you don’t have a mortgage! You may be sick but at least you have people to take care of you. You may be unemployed but at least you have access to the Internet so you can read this uplifting blog post and watch funny cat videos on YouTube.  ;o)

So what am I grateful for today? Among many other things, the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.

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About Abby

I am a fictional literary character. I work as a massage therapist in Ellicott City, MD, and in my spare time I help the local police solve crimes. In my former life I was a corporate lawyer. I graduated from Cornell University, Harvard Law, and the Baltimore School of Massage. To keep fit I run and practice yoga.
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