How Gratitude Makes You Healthy

An attitude of gratitude. Thankful. Blessed. We all know that we should appreciate the things, people, and opportunities we have; however, did you know that an ‘attitude of gratitude’ has proven health benefits? (Possibly even more than that green juice you paid for.) Before we chat science, why not start with a little exercise to get that gratitude flowing? Ready, set, gratitude.

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  • The simple act of expressing thanks automatically lessens stress, which can lead to illnesses like cancer and heart disease, overtime. So, next time you’re in a rut, shift your focus to the good things you have going for you to boost your mood and your immune system.
  • Grateful people are more likely to take care of themselves, which is hugely related to both physical and mental well-being. Dedicating time for self-care makes us happier, less stressed, more focused, and more capable to take care of others. Think of the oxygen masks on airplanes; we can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves first.
  • Showing thanks may spark new relationships. Whether your colleague does you a favor or a stranger holds the door for you, expressing appreciation may initiate conversation, which may lead to friendship, which may lead to more happiness and even more gratitude.
  • An attitude of gratitude increases self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem because your focus is on the good things that you like about yourself. Heck yes.
  • Grateful people are less likely to blame others, react with aggression, and experience anger, as they acknowledge their blessings and feel more empathy for others. Bye bye, road rage.
  • Trouble sleeping? Gratitude reduces anxiety, which can keep us awake or interrupt sleep. Simply put, get grateful and get good shut-eye.
  • Gratitude boosts resilience. We’re far more likely to overcome an obstacle or stay strong through a tough time if we keep an attitude of gratitude.
  • Grateful people are proven to exercise more, which also relieves stress and initiates all of the other benefits listed above. Lace up your sneakers for this double whammy.
  • You do not have to be “successful” to feel gratitude. In fact, those with less money or “stuff” have actually been proven to feel more gratitude. It’s not about what we have or do not have, it’s about perspective.

So, how do we practice daily gratitude? Simply set aside time daily or throughout the day to count your blessings. Write them down or simply make a mental list if you’re on-the-go. Be more observant of when others do something nice for you or someone else and express your appreciation. Even if you’re really down in the dumps, force yourself to smile or think of one thing you’re thankful for. It takes little energy and actually produces happy hormones, which lead to all of the above. Giving thanks all year-round will make you a healthier, happier, more productive, well-rested, confident, unstoppable human being.

One Healthy Breakdown: adopt an attitude of gratitude and reap the benefits…then express your gratitude for ’em and let the cycle continue!

Pheonix Rising Yoga

Are you looking for a yoga practice for increasing your awareness and empowering yourself to live more fully? Phoenix Rising Yoga, a process-based therapeutic yoga experience, may be a good fit for you. The practice is done either one-on-one or in a class with a certified practitioner. Through this process, clients have the opportunity to release old traumas, personal beliefs and out-of-date habits and patterns to then move more fully into life with a new perspective.

Young Woman Meditating on the FloorDuring one-on-one sessions, practitioner-assisted yoga postures and open-ended, non-directive dialogue is used to touch upon things that may not come up in normal talk therapy. The client is guided thru a physical experience in the present moment and whatever happens in that moment, be it physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual, is then discussed and processed. The connection between what showed up on the mat and how that intertwines with your daily life, thru work, play, family and relationships is explored.

In a class setting, the practitioner guides clients thru a sequence of postures and experiences with individual body and breath. Clients are encouraged, through language, to find their own expression of a posture, not an ideal expression of it. It’s about individual interpretation, not perfection. Eyes are closed to maximize the internal experience. The class typically has a theme and the postures and language support that theme. Connections between daily life and life on the mat are explored during the class.

Many clients that have tried Pheonix Rising Yoga report gaining a new perspective, a powerful experience, and being able to feel deeper into themselves, to feel places and emotions they normally wouldn’t. Classes are taught at Mandala Yoga in Amagansett. Michelle Beebee is a psychotherapist and Phoenix Rising Yoga Teacher in Sag Harbor. (If you are interested in contacting her, email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com for contact information.)

One Healthy Breakdown: As a social worker turned fitness junkie, I can totally appreciate the power of integrating yoga into therapy. This is BIG, Pheonix Rising is here to stay.