I use that phrase a lot, especially trying to inspire my kids to appreciate what they have. They don’t often get it. They have no concept of what life would be like without all the luxuries and conveniences they enjoy. Frankly, I mostly don’t either. Sure, I’ve gone camping or on short-term trips to the developing world, but I always knew in a few days or weeks I’d be back in my centrally-heated home compete with indoor plumbing and a cushy mattress.
This morning I read a great excerpt from Mark Sisson’s book The Primal Connection. He reminds us that making gratitude a habit is not just a good idea, but may actually improve health and increase longevity.
[W]hile familial genetics plays a large role in longevity, researchers have amassed significant data suggesting that up to 75 percent of longevity is related to psychological and behavioral factors. Emmons notes that chronically angry, depressed, or pessimistic people have long been observed to have an increased disease risk and shorter life spans. However, those who kept a simple “gratitude journal” for three weeks or longer reported better sleep, increased energy, heightened creativity, enthusiasm, determination, and optimism … and an increased desire for exercise. Now that’s something to be grateful for!
Click here to check out the rest of his post, including a few more simple, practical ideas to practice gratitude on a regular basis.