Gratitude is Good for Your Health


The word gratitude is derived from the Latin root gratia, meaning grace, graciousness, or gratefulness.

In a 1998 Gallop survey of American teens and adults, over 90% of respondents indicated that expressing gratitude helped them to feel “extremely happy” or “somewhat happy.”

Beginning a gratitude practice can be a powerful tool towards increasing happiness and wellness.

A 2003 study compared participants who kept a weekly list of things they were grateful for to a group who kept a list of irritating or neutral things. The research showed that “a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.”

Positive emotions such as gratitude, joy, appreciation, and happiness activate the parasympathetic nervous system in your body. This relaxation response helps decrease cortisol, lowers stress, and strengthens your immune system.

There are many studies that show that people who practice gratitude sleep better, report fewer health problems, and even lower your blood pressure.

How can hypnotherapy help us to cultivate an attitude of gratitude in order to have more health and happiness in our life?

The state of hypnosis is a learning state. When you were a young child, your mind was wide open to the world around you, until approximately the age of 8. The hypnotic state gives you access to this same highly suggestible mind, allowing you to learn new behaviors (or in some cases, unlearn behaviors that are keeping you stuck in old patterns).

When we begin a new practice, such as focusing on gratitude, in the hypnotic state, we can build a stronger association to our new habit. We can use healthy habit techniques such as, “After I get ready for bed, I sit down with my gratitude journal, because it helps me feel happy and healthy.”

Training your mind to find the best parts of your worst day can sometimes be a struggle, but it pays off. If you woke up, write it down. If you had a great cup of coffee, write it down. After about five minutes, you may find the gratitude flowing from your pen with very little effort.

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Dr. Stéphane Provencher aka Dr. Awesome at the Gainesville Holistic Health Center
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