At a time when many are celebrating Christmas, buying presents and anticipating gifts, it's also important for us to reflect on all of the things that we have to be grateful for. While for some, this time of year tends to bring families together, it is also a time that perpetuates consumerism and materialism, exacerbating feelings of needing more or simply not having enough. For the sake of our collective health, we just want to encourage everyone to uphold an attitude of gratitude, especially during these tough times!
Professor Robert Clemmons, a Psychology professor from UC Davis has done extensive research defines Gratitude as “A deep appreciation for what you have received.” The Oxford definition for gratitude is “ the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” In this regard, gratitude is not just something you experience internally, but that you also express or put into action externally.
According to Emmons, multiple things happen in your body when regularly practicing gratitude:
Dopamine has astounding affects on our physical and mental health such as:
Here are some easy ways you can begin to practice gratitude:
Written by: Leilani Salvador
Leilani has been the Director of BAY-Peace since 2017. She is a certified Healing-engagement and Somatics practitioner and has been working in arts education, youth-development and community organizing since 2011.