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Gratitude brings blessings and good health

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Jul 07, 2020 10:41 am

Marching on to almost 120 days of little or no business, it is natural to feel anxious and scared. Experts say worrying will not solve our problems but faith, hope and gratitude will.

We have featured yoga and meditation in previous weeks, and these stress management and centering practices both promote the value of gratitude.

According to Jack Canfield, author of the book series Chicken Soup for the Soul, “Daily habits of gratitude and appreciation are one of the highest emotional states you can experience. When you cultivate gratitude, you’re able to feel true joy and contentment, no matter what you have or don’t have in your life.”

“The law of attraction states that like attracts like. When you’re grateful for what you already have, you will naturally attract more for which you can be grateful,” he added. Incidentally, Canfield is one of those featured in The Secret documentary on Netflix.

We are in a situation we never imagined we would experience in our lifetime. It is challenging and we need divine intervention. Now, more than ever, we should be more mindful of things, people, relationships and moments we should be thankful for.

If the law of attraction is not your cup of tea, note that the practice of gratitude can improve your immune system, promote mental health and improve general health.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, studies have shown that a grateful person has lower risks for depression, generalized anxiety disorder as well as substance dependence or abuse.

The National Institutes of Health also noted that focusing on positive emotions boost one’s ability to cope with stress. Grateful people were also discovered to exercise more and eat healthier meals.

If you want to become a more grateful person, you have to practice it daily and there are many simple ways to develop the habit. Wake up in the morning and sleep at night, giving thanks. The easiest way is to incorporate gratitude in your morning and evening prayers. Think of at least three things to be thankful for when you wake up and retire at night.

Write down what sparks your joys. Keep a physical journal where you can write down your daily gratitude list. Or download a gratitude app to note them on your phone or tablet.

The American Heart Association promotes gratitude and they made an acronym, HEART, to guide people in finding things to be thankful for. H is for health or a part of your body that you really appreciated today (your eyes perhaps and steady hand for still being able to thread a needle easily). E is for eat, or the nourishment you receive. A is for the activities of the day that you enjoyed. R is for relationships you treasure. And T is for time.

Even if you find it hard at first, there are still a lot of things you have that you can be thankful for. Some even thank God in advance for blessings they ask for in prayer that they believe and claim will be given.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness further reported that people who practice gratitude are more helpful, more generous, more likely to offer emotional support, more likely to share their possessions and more willing to forgive others.

The practice of gratitude will also calm you, make you happier, peaceful and content. Early on, I have read that there is nothing left to do but accept the situation that we are in as something out of our control. We then pray, full of hope and faith that we will survive this situation and things, and while they may be modified, will be normal again. We also adapt and search for the opportunities, whether learning or livelihood, the situation brings.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough,” Oprah Winfrey says.

(Post me a note at [email protected] or [email protected].)