Sally Writes – Do you regularly use affirmations to lift your vibrations into higher frequencies and to connect you with the light that infuses all living things? If so, then you are already aware of the important link between the messages we tell ourselves, and our ability to evolve towards neutrality. One important gift we can sometimes forget to give ourselves and others, is that of gratitude – being thankful for everyone and everything that enriches our lives. If you doubted how powerful gratitude could be, know that research has repeatedly pointed to the important role it plays in improving our health and emotional wellbeing, as well as our spirituality.
Gratitude and Health
High gratefulness improves our physical and mental health. Robert A. Emmons, a leading researcher on the subject, has found that it results in better alertness, concentration, determination, vitality, and enthusiasm. Many other specific studies have backed this claim; one, published by the American Psychological Association, found that patients with heart problems who expressed gratitude, enjoyed better sleep, and less fatigue and inflammation (which is linked to many serious diseases). Yet another study by scientists at Kent State University found that simply writing letters of gratitude increased happiness, decreased depression, improved immunity and even boosted academic performance!
Gratitude and Spirituality
When we are bitter or closed to positive energy, it is impossible to connect with our rich inner world, or find unity with the greater force that is the essence of spiritual belief. Gratitude puts us into a positive frame of mind, and enables us to comprehend all that we have in common with all living things. Science shows that spiritual people are happier, so we should constantly look for ways to feel more connected to the universe.
Gratitude and Emotional Wellbeing
Several studies have found that the best way to achieve profound emotional being, is being thankful and joyful for even the small things in life. One study carried out at George Mason University found that there is a difference in gender: men find it harder to express gratefulness when receiving gifts, for instance. According to the study’s lead author, ““The way that we get socialized as children affects what we do with our emotions as adults. Because men are generally taught to control and conceal their softer emotions, this may be limiting their well-being.”
Gratitude makes us healthier and happier, but how can we pursue it in our lives? One way is to keep a gratitude journal, writing daily or a few times a week about the things we are thankful for. Penning letters to friends and family thanking them, can achieve the same effect. Receiving gratitude is also easy; all you have to do is pay it forward; you will feel fantastic about making someone happy, and you will start a virtuous cycle of thankfulness that can have long-lasting positive effects.