Section from my book What are you afraid of
The final part of this chapter will help us conquer fear and anxiety in life’s journey, we will consider the endearing quality of gratitude. This is such an important foundation in being able meet the challenges of our wellbeing and health concerns. “He who has health has hope and he who has hope has everything “.The Origin of this proverb is probably from an Arabian proverb but was highlighted by a Scottish historian and writer Thomas Carlyle. It has stood the test of time with many reflecting and quoting the sentiments in many different pieces of writings even in our period of history.
There are many studies linking Gratitude to hope and transition to happiness. Investigate the link between these 3 substrates will boost positive health(particularly the emotional, mental perspectives) and wellbeing. Happiness is a concept of what you believe and perceive but more importantly a state or feeling. There are many qualities associated with the idea of happiness, joy , contentment, bliss, with various degrees. Simply put it is your positive wellbeing as an individual with your needs being met. Again this subjective is from our perception what are my needs. A king may believe that he needs servants to be happy. Contrasting that idea, a beggar says he needs money or food to be happy. A great book I encourage you to read that shows what humanity can actually face to exist and be grateful may shift your needs to a realistic goal.(Frankl 2004)
We have discussed the role of hope earlier in this chapter. The meaning of hope is having an optimistic state of mind eagerly in anticipation of something in the future, I call it the energy of life. So how does Gratitude influence this aspect of hope in the real world? What actually is gratitude and how can we develop this amazing alexia of having a positive wellbeing?
Gratitude conveys an action and emotion that goes hand in hand. Related to similar words of appreciation and thankfulness. I’m sure you have had plenty of occasions to be thankful to someone or someone has shown thier appreciation for you. It could be a simple card , a text or an elaborate meal. Sadly today we often forget or appreciate the many wonderful gifts we have had or have. I’m sure there are many reasons why individuals are not thankful. The most important catalyst is for ourselves to be actively grateful so the foundation of our inner self will withstand the difficulties of health concerns.
The brain is Catharsis(appendix) emotional state with the practice of gratitude by several neurotransmitter dopamine and serotonin being active through different areas of the brain. The chemicals enforce stronger pathways in the positive areas of the brain entering reward , learning , memory and emotional systems( many more complicated actions going on) reprogramming the brain by positive experiences by reshaping or not allowing the negative predetermining factors in the brain to settle along neurotransmitter pathways.(positivepsychology.com : ggsc.berkeley.ed:)
jimkwik.com has a great podcast to understand gratitude)
From an intrinsic practice of gratitude we rewire the brain to increase our joy from within. There is a lot of evidence of those who practice gratitude during challenging health crises had less pain and discomfort. As I mentioned early in this chapter I was grateful to witness first hand of two amazing positive people. I look back in awe on how they never moaned about thier plights in life despite the health implications.
How can we foster the spirit of gratitude in our life especially when facing health and wellbeing setbacks. Here are a few suggestions to enrich your brain to cope.Practicing gratitude can be a free prescription soften your maladies.(https://health.ucdavis.edu) Extreme pain either mental and emotional difficulties I recommend to see your Doctor as you might have biologically deficiencies that can inhibit your natural state.
1 Have a journal and write down three positive things you are grateful for in the morning and then again in the evening. When you do this try and savour the moment feel the emotion. Here example: I am grateful that I can breathe and appreciate I am alive. I am grateful for al those lovely memories I had. I am grateful for that lovely cup of coffee. End of the day example could be , I am grateful for my friends especially the one I called today. I am grateful for the lovely sunshine. I am grateful to sleep in a bed.
2 Speak to someone you love them for just being themselves remark positive characteristic.
3 Observe nature programs and be inspired.
4 Express yourself creatively.
5 Practicing being grateful by positive reframing of difficult circumstance. Example to our confined to a bed or have limited access. Instead of dwelling on being restricted to your environment say instead “ I have this extra time what positive thing can I do with this time. I will enjoy the time to rest and reflect on all the good times I had and will do.”