Today's task is to write a thank you note or two. If you haven't done your Christmas thank yous that's an easy one to tick off the list, but writing a brief note to aunty Mable to thank her for the socks isn't really the point. Expressing gratitude is actually a great way to spread some good feeling and take yourself out of your own worries. You don't have to get the quill out and pen a note, it's actually nicer to thank people in person, but even a thank you text or email is nice to receive and takes two minutes to write.
Expressing appreciation or gratitude to others, not just for presents but for acts of kindness, support you've been shown, fun times you've had, helps us appreciate the importance of relationship with others and get a bit of perspective on our own lives. Most of us are caught up in our own thoughts and worries and so can neglect our relationships with others and instead over-worry about our own little life bubbles.
Worrying unnecessarily doesn't do you any good, infact it's positively bad for you. Those negative thought patterns create a physiological stress response, this means elevated blood pressure, insulin production and disregulated blood sugar, suppressed immunity, suppressed digestion ... in the long run worry can create genuine ill health. So whilst doing nice things for others and showing appreciation might seem an altruistic act, it's actually just a healthy habit.
It's also worth as a separate exercise writing a note of gratitude for yourself. List everything you're happy with in your life and everything you're grateful for. We all have alot to be grateful for, the basics of food, a comfortable home, the benefits of good relationships, life's little luxuries - nice clothes, cars, holidays, hobbies we enjoy, having good health - even if it's not perfect it's probably much better than alot of peoples. Focussing on the positives in your life will help give some context to the aspects that you're not happy with and overall reduce your stress levels.
I for one am grateful for all the people who read my blog, everyone who's recommended me to someone else, everyone who's encouraged and supported me along the way to study and practice nutrition and to spread the word on living a healthy life, so thank you to all of you!