Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude
#2 in the series 21 Life Hacks You Need When Loving a Crazy
Did you just roll your eyes heavenward when you read the title? You might even have groused, give me a break what blessings? Maybe the question, what do I have to be grateful for, raced to the front of your mind? Or maybe, how can counting my blessings possibly help me?
Before you completely dismiss the idea of counting your blessings and relegate it to so much new age spirituality, consider some facts stated by real scientists about the advantages of practicing gratitude.
Robert Emmons a professor of psychology at U.C. Davis has written three books on the positive effects of gratitude. Just a few of the benefits he lists are happiness, a sense of well-being, a greater sense of purpose in life, improved sleep and improvement in dealing with crisis and tragedy. That last one could prove to be useful, don’t you think? Emmons isn’t the only one touting the advantages of gratitude.
Wendy Mendes’, an associate professor of Medicine at UCSF, research finds that practicing gratitude lowers blood pressure even under stress. If that is all too west coast for you, consider Forbes magazine and The Wall Street Journal, bastions both of good old fashion establishment thinking, also, write of the virtues of adopting a gratitude practice.
Keeping a gratitude journal is important. Writing your thoughts down requires more focus than just to think them. More focus means more mindfulness that allows you, as Professor Emmons says, “to take things as gifts as opposed to for granted.” With all that you have to juggle in loving your challenged honey, adding one more thing might seem like the straw that does you in. A few minutes with a sense of wonder will supply enough to fill any list so that isn’t as big a problem as you might be thinking it is. Admittedly keeping a journal is not easy at first. Like any other habit, it takes time and work to establish. Try this. Write down five things you are grateful every night before you go to bed. A tremendous help in starting a habit is to be aware of the benefits beforehand. Practicing gratitude as been proven to improve sleep, supplying a tangible benefit in no time. Benefits will continue to roll in, until the next thing you know, you will be grateful for even honey’s mental illness. Gratitude does make that kind of magic happen!