Rx for Happiness

Gratitude List

In addition to any resolution you may have made, you also should resolve to make a gratitude list every morning. Practicing gratitude benefits your health!

Deliberately think and say "thank you" after you write five things on your gratitude list. If you practice gratitude even a little bit, your life will change. If you practice it a lot, your life will change dramatically.

Here are some ideas for writing your list:

I am truly grateful to have ____________ because _________.

Possible things to be grateful for: Work, success, relationships with family and friends, your health, hobbies, the sun, the food you eat, electricity ...

After you make your list go back to each one and read them all, either in your mind or out loud, and say, "Thank you" out loud.

Here's why you need to make a gratitude list:

  • It increases your energy! Gratitude is directly linked to mental well-being and energy levels. When you make the effort to actually say and feel thankful, it not only increases your sense of well-being but also your physical and emotional energy.
  • It helps you lose weight! Studies show that individuals who keep a weekly gratitude list are more likely to exercise and take care of themselves.
  • It makes you happier! A study showed that participants who kept a gratitude journal for 10 weeks were 25 percent happier than those who did not.

Make your gratitude list every morning: List five things you are grateful for and email them to a friend and vice versa. Mutual expressions of gratitude not only elevate you, but also your family and friends. It's a great exercise and helps you to feel more connected and out of your own head.

Living as if each day is a gift and saying, “thank you” can help transform fear into courage, anger into forgiveness, and pain into healing. Your life can be transformed by embracing my Rx for Happiness program. Start now!

If you are struggling to think of things to put on a daily gratitude list, try keeping a journal. Jot down at least one thing a day that pops into your head that you feel thankful for or that inspires you. Carry it around with you. It will become easier, I promise!!

Send a text or an email to a friend, coworker or loved one expressing appreciation for something they have done or said or for simply being a part of your life.

Try to spend at least 20 minutes a day, morning or evening, in quiet meditation. I can give you more tips for how to do this later, but to start, try focusing on just your breath. Nothing else. Focus on the sensation and sound of breathing in and out. As thoughts creep in, let them float on out. Stay focused on just your breath. This will help center you and ground you and allow you to feel your true self and feelings. To heal, let go, and feel thankful.

#Smileback Experiment

What’s one simple thing you can do right now that instantly can put you in a better mood? Smile!

Urologist Dr. Jennifer Berman conducted a social experiment, called #smileback. A team of happy smilers hit the streets of Hollywood to see whether their smiles would generate a smile back from passersby.

“We walk around with this wall around us, not engaging with other people, not in the moment, and not really experiencing happiness,” Dr. Berman says.

But, she says she’s not going to lose faith in mankind. The Doctors encourage you to conduct your own #smileback experiment. Share your experience on Twitter or Instagram with #smileback, and encourage others to smile back, as well.

Dr. Berman says smiling can improve your health and help improve the recipient’s day as well. She explains that your brain chemistry changes when you smile: Endorphins and serotonins, the feel-good hormones, increase, and cortisol levels, which lead to stress, decrease. Studies also have shown that smiling can lower blood pressure and boost the immune system.

“You may pass someone on the street and they just need a nugget to know that the world is good,” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “Sometimes, if you just smile at that person you could change their day around.”

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