THIS is the second part of our “Making your New Year’s Resolutions Count” series. I do hope none of us has fallen off the wagon just yet. My goal for these next series of articles is to allow you, my dear readers, to focus on one habit each week and look to retain it. We will be adding one healthy habit each week for the next 10 weeks and I hope you get to retain each of these habits.
Habit for week # 2 – Start and end the day with thankfulness
As we go through our days, there are so many things we can get pissed off about. I, for one, get pissed off about our traffic situation daily. I’m sure you guys are, too. But despite all these, there are countless things to be thankful for like just getting home safe, or our present health (be thankful; it could be worse) because someone somewhere out there in the world will always have it either better or worse than we do.
Why is thankfulness important to our overall health?
Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week focusing on particular topics.
One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to the physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
So if you want to be well, be thankful.