Importance of daily gratitude

beachwalkI wish you all the best for the New Year.

This has been a tough year for me personally – and has been for many others I know.

A key to working through difficult times is to remain reflective and grateful.

I was reminded of the power of gratitude when I listened to a podcast on “Gratitude” (Episode 93) on ZenFounder. Clincial psychologist Sherry Walling and her husband, Rob Walling, a serial entreprenurist and writer, talk about the value of including gratitude in your everyday life.

They encourage us to look for balance in our lives – paying attention to the things that are working and not just focusing on shortcomings.

Where we direct our attention our energy will follow. The more we focus our attention on the positive, the more we will see the positive in our lives.

They advise thinking on three things to be grateful for each day. Those can range from being grateful for a supportive spouse or partner to being glad your car works.

Focusing on the positives keeps materialism in check. Negative emotions make us feel inaequate, as we think about what we don’t have. Gratitude helps us think about what is going right rather than what is going wrong.

Focusing on the negatives – what we don’t have or our personal shortcomings – adds stress to our bodies, and stress harms our health. If you are being negative then corresponding hormones are released which affects how you feel. Break the cycle by working on positives in your life and your body releases the corresponding hormones which help us feel more postive.

Listing three positive things every day not only brings a more positive outlook, but also gives us “control over our physiology,” as the body releases chemicals and hormones that make us feel better.

Here’s to our positive outlooks in 2017 as we practice expressing gratitude.