So its that time of year that many of you are mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted and perhaps trying to shut down and embrace the holiday/festive spirit. It is also a time that many look back on the year that has just unfolded and perhaps take stock of the things that you have achieved and accomplished as well as the things you maybe didn’t have enough time to finish.
As I write this article I reflect on this year with a deep sense of gratitude and also a reminder to those reading to spend sometime before 2015 is over to look back and acknowledge all the blessings that have come into your life no matter how big or small. And I am sure that a few would say that its been a ‘kak’ year (mind the French) and that you are just waiting to let it go and start fresh in 2016. However I want to remind you that if you are reading this article on Facebook or the internet, that you are one of the privileged that has access to these platforms. Even the small things like this are big things for people who cannot afford it.
The practise of gratitude is not only a great way to end of the year but it also has many benefits. According to Harvard Medical School the practise of gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.
Studies on gratitude were also conducted by the University of California and University of Miami. One group was asked to write a few things about what they were grateful for, that occurred during the week. The next group had to write about the things that irritated or displeased them, whilst the 3rd group was asked to write about events that affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After this 10 week experiment, findings revealed that those who wrote about gratitude were not only more optimistic about life but they also felt better. What also showed up was that these people also exercised more and had fewer visits to the doctor than those who had focussed on their sources of aggravation.
According to an article published in Forbes the practise of gratitude can have several benefits:
Improved Physical & Psychological Health – People who are grateful have fewer aches and pains and are overall more healthier than other people. In a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual differences, grateful people also tend to take care of their health, exercise more and more likely to attend regular check-ups with their doctors
Improved Sleep – Studies have shown that writing in a gratitude journal even just for 15 minutes helps improve sleep patterns
Increases empathy & reduces aggression – People who practise gratitude according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky shows that grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner. These people are also less likely to retaliate against others even when given negative feedback. They are more sensitive and empathetic towards others and are less likely to have the desire to seek revenge.
Increased mental strength – Gratitude practise not only reduces stress but also plays an important role in overcoming trauma. Studies have shown that those practising gratitude experience lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
According to the Chopra Centre, ‘If you want more happiness, joy, and energy, gratitude is clearly a crucial quality to cultivate. It is a fullness of heart that moves us from limitation and fear to expansion and love. When we’re appreciating something, our ego moves out of the way and we connect with our soul. Gratitude brings our attention into the present, which is the only place where miracles can unfold. The deeper our appreciation, the more we see with the eyes of the soul and the more our life flows in harmony with the creative power of the universe.’
On that note, I would like to say thank you to all the amazing souls that have supported Infinity Expressions this year, a business that is designed to bring out the full human potential within every individual we work with. Without your support this work would not be possible. Thank you and remember, BE EXCEPTIONAL, always