I doubt that there’s a human being alive right now that is not terrified of catching the Coronavirus. It is monopolizing all of our thoughts. Most people are glued to the TV, computer, or news app, obsessing over the data and being driven further and further into despair. It’s almost impossible to escape the seemingly never-ending bad news. Every time we turn around we hear of more cases, more deaths, more political fighting, more financial disaster. What we are not talking about is the danger of just hearing all of this bad news.
Most of us are sitting home, locked up in our private houses and thinking that we are safe from getting sick because of it. Unfortunately, the effects of all this bad news and stress is taking its toll on our bodies. There may be no physical symptoms yet and there is no test that we can take that tells us that we are “infected” with a detrimental virus, but the reality is that stress is absolutely compromising all of our immune systems. Our president is calling the current situation “a war against the invisible enemy” and that is exactly what we need to be combating inside our own bodies. Our systems were not built for this constant state of stress and there’s never been a more important time to make self-care a priority.
It’s great that we are all taking extra precautionary measures like washing our hands and conforming to the social distancing recommendations, but I would like to suggest that you add some more precautionary measures to your daily routine. It is crucial that you force yourself to spend time each day reflecting on some positive thoughts. The most powerful way you can spend a spare 10 (or more) minutes is immersing yourself in gratitude. When the body is in a state of gratitude the chemistry inside of us changes. We have a pharmacy inside our own body that goes to work mixing up all the right ingredients to push immunity-boosting self-made chemicals throughout our system. It is so important to give our bodies a break and let it reboot and refresh itself.
Finding and Feeling Gratitude
Granted, it may be a challenge to find things to be grateful for today and during the days to come. But let’s just imagine what it is like to get our power back after a storm leaves us in the dark for several days. How thrilling is it to just turn the lights on right after the power is restored? Let’s put ourselves in that mindset when searching for things to be grateful for. Maybe start by asking yourself these questions?
- Am I home right now instead of laying in a hospital bed?
- Are my family members with me?
- Do I have power at home?
- Do I have heat in my house?
- Is there food in my pantry?
- Do I have an extra roll of toilet paper?
- Is clean water running out of my tap?
- Do I have clothes in my closet?
- Do I have a pet at home that gives me unconditional love on demand?
- Do I have someone special that I can call just to say hi?
- Do I have any good books on my bookshelf?
- Do I have a fuzzy blanket that I can snuggle in?
OK, you get the picture. Let this list serve as a starting point for your gratitude list. Once you get going, you’ll be amazed at just how many things you will find to be grateful for. The more you find and the longer you sit quietly, the more benefits you will get. It has been scientifically proven that feeling grateful can, amongst other things:
- Lower your blood pressure
- Improve immune function
But here’s the catch, . . . You can’t just robotically read a list of things that you should be grateful for. You must actually FEEL the gratitude in your heart. Why not start today? Maybe grab a journal and start making a gratitude list so that when you do find the time to sit quietly and reflect you’ll be armed and ready with what you are grateful for.
Here’s a short video to further explain the importance of gratitude. Thank you for reading. I’m grateful for your time!