Gratitude and It’s Many Life Enhancing Benefits
Gratitude and Thanksgiving go hand in hand. With the big holiday tomorrow, have you considered what you are grateful for? Thanksgiving is the only day of the year designated as a time to express what we are grateful. What if we expressed our gratitude more than one day a year? Why only celebrate our blessings the final Thursday of every November? Studies have shown that actively exercising an “attitude of gratitude” enhances our lives physically, mentally, and socially.
At times it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, if you take the time to purposefully search for moments/ people/ places/ circumstances to be grateful for, you will find them. Potentially, you may have overlooked the effect that warm cup of coffee had on your morning today. Or, do you need to adjust your perspective? Something from one point of view may be a restriction, from another could be a great opportunity for improvement.
By noting the large and small blessings in our lives our overall health evidently improves.
- Self-care increases. People are more likely to go to the doctor and exercise.
- Quality and duration of sleep increase.
- Overeating slows down. Healthy eating is naturally promoted.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Strengthened immune system, therefore sick less often.
- Believe it or not… statistics show people who practice an attitude of gratitude daily live longer.
- An enhanced self-esteem.
- Lower stress and a quicker relaxation response.
- More optimistic and mentally resilient.
- Eased symptoms of depression.
- Improved decision making.
- Healthier relationships.
- Through journaling, increased goal achievement.
- More creative, patient, and productive.
- Less self-centered, less concentration on materialistic items, and more humble.
From every experience in life, there is an opportunity to learn, grow, or heal. Finding that opportunity is an uncommon accomplishment. Too often, we are too focused on all the things we have to do that we omit the blessings. Life comes with many gifts, but very few guarantees. Nothing is to be taken for granted. While we complain about little things such as having to fix our cars, we should be grateful that we have cars and are able to go where we want when we want. Each morning when we wake up, our gifts are all around us. It is up to you to decide how you want to utilize and view those benefits.
When you are constantly observing the blessings in your life, they begin to outshine the misfortunes. A large part of living mindfully is being aware of all that life has to offer, good and bad. When you look through an open window of thanks instead of fogged glass of obstacles, your life will change for the better. Especially when these practices are implemented each and every day. Feeling grateful, showing appreciation, and expressing your gratitude verbally to others are a great way to keep the attitude of gratitude going all year round. Leading by example will encourage others to live with lives with more intent and gratitude.
The list of things we at Seabrook are grateful for grows exponentially each day. From our co-workers to our patients, partners, alumni, sponsors, and everyone else who assists and supports us in helping families recover from addiction, we are eternally grateful. When listing all the things you are grateful for this holiday season, do not forget to look inward. Be thankful for all the things that make you, you! You never know who considers you one of their gift each morning.
One of the greatest gifts someone could give themselves or their family is the gift of recovery. Living a more fulfilling life, mending broken relationships, and exchanging chaos for hope are priceless. A life without being tethered to a substance is a gift no amount of money can buy.
The holidays are equally as good of a time to enter treatment compared to any other. If you find yourself overwhelmed, call us. We are here to help. We give the gift of recovery. For more information, please check out our website. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse disorder, call our help line 800-761-7575.