As massage therapists, we get a first hand experience of the stress in the daily lives of our clients. Whether it be from difficult external circumstances or negative states of mind, the damaging effects of stress on the body-mind take a toll on your health, relationships, and enjoyment of life.
The practice of gratitude—the state of mind of thankfulness—is an easy technique that can diffuse stress from negativity and dissatisfaction, replacing it with a sense of acceptance and appreciation for what is good in your life. Numerous studies suggest that grateful people are more likely to have higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression.
Daily Practice is Key
With discoveries over the past two decades about brain neuroplasticity, we now know that with regular practice of new behaviors, we generate and strengthen new neural pathways. We can make changes that profoundly alter the pattern of response to our experience. So the important thing is to practice gratitude every day, and over time you will develop a new focus of attention—a greater sense of appreciation for everything and everyone in your life!
Simple Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
- Appreciate people. Tell them, leave a note, send an email. Thank them for their love or support, for what you value about them, the ways they inspire you, the efforts they make that may go unnoticed, their kindness or thoughtfulness. Spend a day doing it with everyone you come in contact with, and see how you feel.
- Replace negativity with gratitude. When you notice yourself grumbling about something or complaining, think of several things in your life for which you are grateful.
- Keep a gratitude journal and write daily. It can be as simple as recording one thing you’re grateful for each night before you go to bed. This can be helpful to read later, should you need a reminder of the good things in your life. And it will help you tune in during your day to more things you appreciate.
Be Grateful to Your Body!
Practicing self-care is the way we show our bodies that we are grateful for all they do to support our life. Eating healthy food; getting adequate exercise, rest and relaxation; cultivating positive states of mind; and receiving regular, aware touch all nourish our body-mind with the essentials for health and happiness.
We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to your health and well-being with expert bodywork. All of us at Massage Therapy Center Palo Alto wish you a safe and joyful Thanksgiving and holiday season, filled with gratitude!