Gratitude Does the Body Good, and the Mind Too!
As I began to put the words on the screen this morning. I open up Google Chrome, clicked on a new tab. Typed in the word.
Hoping to get a wordsmith definition that I could quote. From Wikipedia or Merriam Webster. I was a bit perplexed on what I found. Only one definition from Oxford. The typical Google definition, stating Noun. The pronunciation. A few words that describe it. How it is used in a sentence and some google images. Beyond the definition. The search revealed something that made me smile. Multiple studies from people with all kinds of letters after their names. Leading Scientific Experts. Benedictine Monks. Psychologists. And even this university in Cambridge, MA called Harvard. Forbes also put together a science back article on gratitude as well.
What were the studies about? How gratitude helps our mental being. And is good for us. For me. I am not a bigger believer in main stream medicine, actually a bit skeptical. When I read a few I was left with that Cheshire Cat grin.
Originally I was going to write about the holidays and how to be grateful during these, sometimes stressful times. After reading the headlines and a few articles. It moved me to share how I have been integrating little doses of gratitude into my life. Helping me to be less stressed and as cliche as it sounds, smile more.
For those that have taken any of my yoga classes on or off the water may remember one of these practices. But here's a list of 5 if it is new to you.
When we wake up. Whether we hit snooze or shut the alarm off. Take a brief moment. To give thanks to three things in our lives. Do this before the scroll sucks us in. It will help the mental aspect of life. Now this could be something huge. A project we are about to complete. Or just simply waking up. Or the pup that is laying next to us with unconditional love.
Say Good Morning to someone. If we live alone. It may have to wait until we see our bell hop. Someone at the coffee shop. Or along our way into work. And when we do say it. Do it with a smile.
Communicating with a smile. This one sounds a bit crazy. But when we send a text. Email. DM. Snap. Or pick up the phone. Smile. The person on the other end will feel it. If you are skeptical on this one. Take an audio message of yourself, one smiling. One pouting. The answer is in the tone. And the smile.
Do something kind for someone. As humans we get caught up in the rat race. Rush to work. Cut off that asshole who is driving slow. Walk in front of the person about to get a coffee. Or let the door close on the person who's hands are full. Yes these are aggressive examples, but sometime we are in our own heads so much. We do not realize we just did that. Slow down. Make eye contact. Be kind.
Smile at a stranger. This is my favorite. It freaks people out. I smile at everyone. Especially those that look like they are about to get into a fist fight with someone. What happens. They smile back. Sometimes even when they don't want to.
There are many ways we can personal show gratitude beyond the ways of buying someone something. As the little things can be more valuable than some fancy gift that is loaded with expectations.
With tomorrow being Thanksgiving. I figured I'd leave this one. For last.
It is one that I love to say to friends. Family. And strangers. The response that typically follows, "why are you thanking me, I didn't do anything." But you did, we did. Somewhere. Sometime. And maybe we didn't get the acknowledgement. And maybe it stung a bit and is lingering. Or maybe it just inspires us, to do more things from a place of gratitude. Whether tomorrow. Next week. Or in a year. Think about gratitude. And how a small change can make us a bit happier.