What if there was a solution to stress so simple that it involved nothing more than feeling thankful for the good things in your life? In fact, there is. That solution is called gratitude.
Studies have shown that people who regularly practice feeling thankful have a leg up when it comes to their health and that those who adopt an “attitude of gratitude” as a permanent state of mind experience many health benefits.

Research suggests that grateful people may be more likely to:

•take better care of themselves physically and mentally
•engage in more protective health behaviors and maintenance
•get more regular exercise
•eat a healthier diet
•have improved mental alertness
•schedule regular physical examinations with their doctor
•cope better with stress and daily challenges
•feel happier and more optimistic
•avoid problematic physical symptoms
•have stronger immune systems
•maintain a brighter view of the future
With that list of benefits, who wouldn’t want to try it? To get started giving thanks, consider integrating some of the steps below into your daily life.

Focus Attention Outward

Your attitude plays a large role in determining whether you can feel grateful in spite of life’s challenges. Gratitude is defined by your attitude towards both the outside world and yourself. People who are more aware of the positives in their lives tend to focus their attention outside of themselves.

Be Mindful of What You Have

You may assume that those with more material possessions have more to be grateful for. However, we all know that material possessions can’t give you peace of mind. So, it’s not how much you have, but how you feel about what you have that makes the difference.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Recording what you feel grateful for in a journal is a great way to give thanks on a regular basis. People who regularly list things they felt grateful for in a weekly gratitude journal reported fewer health problems and greater optimism than those who didn't. Daily writing leads to a greater increase in gratitude than weekly writing.

Re-frame Situations as Positive

It’s not actually a challenging situation that is upsetting. It’s how you perceive the situation. The next time you find yourself complaining about life’s hassles, see if you can mentally “flip the switch” to frame things differently. For example, rather than getting down about missing an opportunity, try to see the positive side. You might now have more time to direct towards other priorities.

Adopting an attitude of gratitude takes time and effort. It’s so much easier to concentrate on the negatives but, over time, you’ll find that it becomes easier and easier to see the good in your life’s situations. Start right now:

Write down five things you have to be grateful for and post it somewhere where you’ll see it (the refrigerator is ideal). Each time you think of something else, add it to the list. Then, when you become “Negative Nellie”, take a look at your list.

You’ll be surprised how quickly your attitude will change.

Author's Bio: 

Linda empowers women through her gifts as a insight & wisdom coach, facilitator, author and inspirational speaker. Her passion is to influence women in such a way as to motivate them into positive action.

Linda works tirelessly providing her services to various women’s organizations. She facilitates several support groups, workshops, seminars and provides inspirational speaking for many women’s causes. She provides life skills to the Women’s Prison system and to community based programs offered through local agencies. Linda provides professional development to local colleges and businesses.

Linda is the author of “Your Past Has Passed” and is a Contributing Writer to It’s All About Women.com, Self Growth.com, Madamesque.com and LivingBetterat50.com

Linda has a degree in English and is a Certified Insight & Wisdom Coach.