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The Practice of Gratitude

Practicing gratitude

The research in the science of gratitude illustrates that many health and well-being benefits are derived from deliberate and sustained practice.

By practicing gratitude, we affirm and recognize the goodness in our lives. Practicing gratitude includes regularly and mindfully reflecting, expressing, and receiving that which happens to us throughout our days. Sustaining a practice of gratitude comes from this continued focus over time, resulting in a greater acknowledgment of what we are grateful for, how often we feel grateful, and how deeply we feel grateful.

Studies suggest individuals who have a regular gratitude practice, experience better physical health. In particular, those who have a regular gratitude practice, have higher participation in healthy activities and are more willing to seek help for health issues. Additional research shows that gratitude has been associated with a 25% reduction in dietary fat intake and lower blood pressure, in grateful people versus those less grateful.

Suggested practice:

We usually include our gratitude practice at the end of the day, in our journaling practice or before we fall asleep what we’re grateful for from the day. I would suggest you practicing gratitude first thing in the morning, preparing your brain to cope with whatever arises during the day. Notice and strengthen your attention on what you’re grateful for throughout the day. When something upsetting happens, notice it, hold it with self-compassion and self-empathy, then return to your gratitude practice, notice the upset being held in a broader perspective. Notice that solutions are emerging, not from worry but your intuitive wisdom. Also, if gratitude allows you to move through your day with more openness and flexibility, take a moment to be grateful for that.

Erika Gantner

202-569 5222
8911 Ridge Place,

Bethesda, Maryland 20817

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