The power of gratitude

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I have been fortunate enough to have travelled, studied and lived in different parts of the world. My mothers family settled in Kenya and as a Hispanic studies student I spent about 18months in Latin America.

And although I think I have it naturally in me, travel has concreted one very simple but invaluable thing. 

GRATITUDE. 

I worked in a favela in Rio where people had to worry about being hit by stray bullets. It made me grateful for living in a much safer place in Britain. 

I remember my Cuban friend struggling to find paper just to print his thesis onto at Uni. I was grateful at my Uni we never had this problem. 

So how does this all relate to health? 

It turns out a LOT.

 

 Me (right) and my boy in Antigua Guatemala 2005 with a volcano in the back round!  

Me (right) and my boy in Antigua Guatemala 2005 with a volcano in the back round!  

What is gratitude? According to the Oxford dictionary it's the 'The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness'. 

Studies have shown that showing gratitude 're wires' your brain and it helps activate the hypothalamus. This is quite cool as the hypothalamus is the control centre in your brain that controls things like your temperature, metabolism, hunger, sleep and circadian rhythms. Yes gratitude help this thing work better. 

Being grateful makes you more resilient

Life is full of highs and lows. We will all face the death of a loved one, loss of a job and most of us a broken heart. The University of California Berkeley has done several studies showing that people who are grateful bounce back better after a stressful moment in time. 

Gratitude can help your sleep and lower anxiety and depression

I've told you before about how good quality sleep is for you. Also a 2012 study in China showed that keeping a gratitude diary helped anxious people sleep better and the depressives all reported having better moods. 

 

 

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Gratitude can improve physical health and energy levels

Writing a gratitude journal can reduce blood pressure by 10%. Boom! According to a study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people are more likely to take care of themselves and therefore have better health.

 

Being thankful can improve self esteem

Being grateful reduces social comparisons. In 2018 where everyone is comparing themselves to Instagram models and celebs that is HUGE. It also reduces things like resentfulness of people who have more than you do which again in this age of social media where we see everyones 'highlight real' is excellent and what we all need.

Wow BVOY this is dope but what actions can I take? 

Gratitude journal

Write 3 things you're thankful for each morning and night. 3 things money cannot buy. 

tell others you appreciate them

It sounds cheesy but try telling your family members that you appreciate them. It will make you feel really great I promise.

practice being present

To be grateful you must be present. Try to be more mindful in the things in your life. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. 

Feel free to message me with any questions or if you're interested in 1-1 coaching.

Strength & Salud

Ed

https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/19/2/276/340011

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_gratitude_is_good

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/prefrontal-nudity/201211/the-grateful-brain

 

Edwin Griffiths