Gratitude is saying thank-you for something you receive. Extreme gratitude is being conscious of all the good that is all around you. It's being connected to your good in a way that uplifts your spirit and changes your thinking, which changes your life.
"Grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more protective health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, regular physical examinations," explains psychologist Robert Emmons, a pioneer in gratitude research.
On the other hand, people who are not grateful feel like they are being cheated out of something. Because they feel that way, they're always doing things or buying things or being someone they aren’t. The will do anything they can think of to fill the void inside of them. But the void is like a black hole – no matter how you try to fill it, that space is never filled.
Research shows that extreme gratitude – that old “count your blessings” adage - puts you in a power position in two ways.
- Since you know that good happens in your life, when something not so good happens, you can deal with it better.
- By reminding yourself that good things are happening all the time, you develop feelings of hope and optimism, which leads to greater confidence. That becomes your POWER.
So get some of that extreme gratitude energy going. Here’s what to do:
Start your day by writing down five things that you’re grateful for. That’s it. It’s a simple exercise. If you want, you can write in a notebook (a Gratitude Journal). From time to time, you can reflect on what you wrote. Also, during times when five things are hard to think of, your notes will tickle your gratitude memory.
When you do gratitude the first thing in the morning, you are choosing a positive direction for your day. When you do it for thirty days, you form a new habit. New, positive habits will change your life for the better.
If you aren't convinced yet, consider the extra bonus: Research shows that all that positive energy boosts your immune system and helps you fight actual disease.