Wow! Can we say the last few weeks have been stressful with horrific hurricanes and the tragic shooting in Las Vegas? I know it’s been affecting me deeply, but it’s hard to be human without adversity touching us from time to time. While I was at Miraval, the amazing resort and spa in Tucson, Arizona, my daughter and I sat in on a class called “The Gift of Gratitude.” I wanted to share some of the insights we learned about how to express gratitude, to make your days a little brighter.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect and, frankly, was more interested in spa treatments and exercise classes than a motivational lecture. However, we were both grateful we walked in and participated. It set the tone for our few days at the resort and was a great help when I returned to the chaos that was happening in the world and in my personal life.
Our speaker was Lisa Frank who is a wellness counselor and yoga instructor. I also took her Slow Flow Yoga class.
The Gift of Gratitude
According to recent studies, when we express gratitude each day, it increases our immune functions, lowers blood pressure, boosts our energy, enthusiasm, and alertness. It also decreases our cortisol levels, which is what creates belly fat in our bodies. I must have an enormous build-up of cortisol because my tummy sticks out like I’m 9-months pregnant. Cortisol is a result of high-stress levels and our fight or flight reaction to it.
When we are grateful for what we have, it lifts our mood, our level of happiness, joy, and enhances our relationships. We are better able to connect and contribute back to society.
How to express gratitude
- Start and end your day by saying “thank you” and express gratitude for what you did that day. A good way to do this is by starting a journal. Write down 1-3 things you are grateful for each day.
- Highlight them with a marker to find them when you are feeling low.
- Share the daily gifts and blessings you offer and receive.
- When you focus on material possessions, it’s not as powerful as when you recognize the smaller and more significant things that happen in your life.
- Write a letter to someone who has been meaningful to your life and let them know what you appreciate about them. Then call them and get together in person to share what you feel.
- Wear a gratitude reminder like a gift someone has given to you. It could be a bracelet, ring, necklace, pin, scarf, or even a piece of paper you put in your pocket.
- Find a silver lining and opportunity for growth, even when you face harsh challenges.
How do you express gratitude? Please leave a comment below.