Like every holiday, this one also comes with its particular emotional charge. This year some might feel sad and frustrated not to be able to spend the holiday with their family, while others might feel relieved for the very same reason! Some people will feel anxious about having people over and stressed about cooking; others might be worried about overeating and gaining weight.
But how do you feel about actually Giving Thanks?
Science tells us that if we actually focused on that, the feeling of gratitude, our life could transform completely in a matter of weeks and, I add, it could also help us to lose weight. Here’s why!
1) Being thankful reduces stress and makes you feel happier. This makes sense; when we focus on being thankful for what we have instead of living in a permanent state of lack, it comes naturally to become happier and feel less stressed. We know that reducing stress is key to a successful weight loss, as I talked about before in this blog post)
2) It improves your physical and mental health. Research shows that people who regularly practice feeling grateful have reduced inflammation, better cardiovascular health, lower levels of depression, and greater mental strength. Besides these all being tremendous advantages, we know how all of these come to great use when we want to embark on a weightless journey.
3) It enhances your self-esteem. We tend to be the harshest critics of ourselves. But when we practice gratitude consistently for a while, we start to become happier about how we already are, instead of wishing to be different. So we stop comparing ourselves to others and feel pressure to look different. As a consequence, the whole journey of becoming healthier becomes much easier and enjoyable.
4) It improves your relationships and opens the doors for new ones. On one hand, you start to notice all the little things and gestures you like and appreciate about the people in your life, so they start to feel lucky to have them, leading to a lot fewer confrontations and arguments. This also strengthens the relationships in times of stress. On the other hand, you are more likely to notice lovely things about strangers and to feel more open towards them. So you find yourself being more supported when you need it.
5) You’ll sleep better. As your stress levels go down, you can let go of worries more quickly, and your mind gets quieter… After all, you feel like you have all you need, so why worry? As I explained in this blog post, sleeping is the key to lose weight!
So you can see that the benefits of being grateful are tremendous, and you’re probably wondering whether there is a specific way to practice it.
The truth is that different people have different ways of doing it. Some like to keep a journal where they write about all the things that happened during the day they feel grateful for. Others prefer to sit quietly and count their blessings, while others just decide to notice the little things during the day and ensure to stop for a couple of seconds to acknowledge the feeling.
The best thing to do is to try out different methods and see which one works best for you. Only keep in mind the following tips:
1. FEEL the gratitude, rather than thinking of it. If you only tick a box in your mind, it won’t work;
2. Find things you can genuinely feel grateful for, not things you think you should be grateful for;
3. Whatever you choose, make it a habit. To see the benefits, you need to do it for at least a few weeks, and you really want to make it a lifestyle to make them stay!
What are you grateful for?