Everyone from Buddhist monks to Indian chiefs recognize the importance of being grateful for what you have. You don’t have to hold a position of influence to reap the benefits of gratitude meditation, which can provide you with a number of mental and physical benefits. What is gratitude meditation and why is it important? Here is some information we think you will find very interesting.
What Is Gratitude Meditation?
Gratitude meditation is simply the practice of taking time to reflect on the good things in life. It follows no particular format, requiring that you simply acknowledge that you are thankful for things that you might ordinarily take for granted. All you need to do in order to practice it is to sit quietly, breathe slowly, and relax your body. Concentrate on the things around you and how they bless you in ways you never think of. Focus on what is good about your life, whether it is relationships, excellent health, or a close-knit family. Some people may repeat inspirational quotes or phrases; however, doing so is not required. Gratitude meditation is not associated with any one religion, although some may use it in conjunction with their daily prayers or spiritual readings.
Gratitude meditation can provide you with a number of emotional benefits, namely a more positive mood. A study performed by the Journal of Positive Psychology showed that people who counted their blessings and visualized their “best possible selves” experienced an immediate positive effect. Not only will it help you achieve a better outlook on life, but you will also be able to maintain a positive attitude long term. Those who express their gratitude also have lower levels of anxiety and depression, and are also less likely to be materialistic. Relationships may improve as you become more compassionate and kind to others. Some psychologists believe it may also improve your chance of developing a romantic relationship and/or experiencing a healthy marriage.
There is some correlation between being thankful and getting a good night’s sleep. A UK study showed that participants who expressed gratitude had better sleep quality and duration than others. The next time you are having trouble falling asleep, try counting your blessings rather than counting sheep. Another study published in Personality and Individual Differences showed that thankful people reported feeling healthier than the general population, and also experienced fewer aches and pains. Some medical experts believe that those who regularly perform gratitude meditation may also be more inclined to take better care of their health by eating right, exercising, and undergoing frequent check-ups with their doctors. If this is true, then it could lead to an increased lifespan as well.
Why practice gratitude meditation? When you make a conscious effort to be thankful for what you have, your entire outlook on life suddenly changes. If you want to live longer and be healthier and happier doing it, make it a point to practice gratitude meditation and then express your thankfulness to others so that they can benefit from your positive attitude as well.