According to the Oxford Dictionary, gratitude is, “the quality of being; the readiness to show appreciation for and and to return kindness.”
Harvard did a study on gratitude many years ago. It went like this: They tested people for stress (level, response to stimuli, blood pressure, etc). Then, they had participants write one full page of what they were grateful for every night. They did this for seven days. At the end of the seven days, all of their stress markers had improved. They then checked those same stress markers six months out, and they were still improved! They then concluded the study, noting that after seven days of journaling about gratitude, stress decreased for six months.
Imagine how much our stress levels would improve if we made it a daily habit.
I know we are all busy. But, can I ask each of you to do this for just seven days? Just one page, one side. Remember to keep it positive. For example, “I am grateful I hit all the green lights on the way to work today,” instead of “I am grateful I didn’t hit any red lights today.”
You will find that the first day will be the hardest, then they will all get easier. This is because you are reprogramming your brain to see the good things happening around you. By the way, these things happen everywhere, all the time, and to everyone, including us! We just have to take note of them.
No, you don’t have to turn it in! It’s not homework, simply a request that will benefit you in the long run. However, feel free to share with others what you are grateful for about them.
To inspire you, I’ll go first!
I am grateful to be able to work in such a beautiful environment with wonderful coworkers and excellent patients where I feel valued as an individual and a member of the team.
Here’s to seeing good things all around us!
If you’re struggling with caring for your mental health, call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Lisa Strohman. Learn more about how mental health impacts our overall well-being here.