At the Hallelujah Diet, our mission is to promote great health through the most natural ways—by using what we already have and what surrounds us. This is of course why we always encourage eating raw, plant-based foods; there’s simply nothing more healing for your body. But what’s just as important is what you feed your mind and your soul, and there’s no better time to remind you of this than Thanksgiving, a time when the entire world is practicing gratitude.
The amazing thing? Gratitude has been scientifically shown to be beneficial to your health. There’s an astonishingly large body of research—yes, backed by professionals—that demonstrates there is a remarkably strong link between showing gratitude and a higher level of happiness and even better physical health!
Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, who leads biologic psychology at Duke University Medical Center, told ABC News, ”If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”
The Harvard Mental Health Letter states: “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Last but not least, in the book, The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want, Sonja Lyubomirsky describes that in one study, after a group of people wrote down five things they were grateful for once a week for ten weeks, while another group wrote down five difficulties, the former group showed a boost in not only happiness but also their health, with fewer headaches, nausea and even acne.
Now that we’ve hopefully convinced you how important gratitude is, we want to encourage you to practice lasting gratitude. Once you make gratitude a part of your daily life (not just Thanksgiving), your body, your mind and your world will change.
Starting today, do just one thing every day. Just like in the experiment described above, write down five things you’re grateful for on a daily basis. It’s okay if they repeat; that just signifies how important these things are to you. Don’t just write it down. Take a moment to think about why. Make it habit to do this every morning after you wake up, or every night before you fall asleep. You can start a journal or email a loved one. Even better, do it with your children and your spouse!
To get you started, here are five things we are grateful for today:
- We are grateful for our ability to feel and express gratitude, one of our greatest gifts from God.
- We are grateful for all our families: our sons and daughters, our wives and husbands, our sisters and brothers, our family of friends and our community who we share in the praise of God.
- We are grateful for the honor to serve others who are less fortunate and seek a new path.
- We are grateful for forgiveness, and the opportunity we have every moment of each day to live more spiritual, loving, virtuous lives.
- We are grateful for the abundance of living miracles that surround us, from a budding herb to the towering trees that let us breathe.
What are you grateful for? Ask yourself and help your heart—perhaps even literally.