Gratitude and Forgiveness
Did you know that there is quite a bit of research to support the idea that experiencing gratitude can positively impact both your mental/emotional state and your ability to achieve the life you want. Gratitude is simply “the quality of being thankful”. Based on research people who feel gratitude on a regular basis self-report being happier. It is also reported that happiness is not dependent on income, social position, or age but simply how people approach their lives with an attitude of thankfulness. In an article by Geoffrey James about the power of gratitude, he talks about gratitude as “an emotional muscle”.
People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what’s wonderful their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success. And when things don’t go as planned, people who are grateful can put failure into perspective.
Spending just 5 minutes a day to think about something that you are grateful for a period of time can make positive changes to your health, relationships, how others relate to you, and your outlook on life.
Similarly forgiveness also ties in with letting go of the past and moving forward with a positive attitude. It can involve forgiving others who wronged you, or even forgiving yourself from past mistakes. Generally, forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt or offended you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, more positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you. Letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for happiness, health and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:
- Healthier relationships
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Stronger immune system
- Improved heart health
- Higher self-esteem
So give it a try! Here are some simple things for you to try.
- Morning Coffee Gratitude: One of the best ways to start your day off right is to spend a few minutes thinking of all the things you are grateful for.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Send a gratitude letter to someone who has made a positive influence in your life.