Do you work to bring true, intentional gratitude to your everyday life? In Chapter 9 of Think Like a Monk, Jay Shetty explores the importance of amplifying gratitude to the health of our minds and our bodies.

The world is full of things to be grateful for. Starting the day with gratitude opens us up to greater opportunities and fewer obstacles. Thankfulness has measurable benefits. It’s time to start purposefully looking for and acknowledging what we’re grateful for so it can start to transform our lives. 

“Gratitude has been linked to better mental health, self-awareness, better relationships, and a sense of fulfillment,” writes Jay Shetty. There have been several studies, that are detailed in the book, that have been done on gratitude and its impact on our lives. 

“When you’re present in gratitude, you can’t be anywhere else.” Jay Shetty writes. Gratitude allows us to escape feelings of worthlessness. When we allow our monk mind to express gratitude, we can beat the monkey mind’s feelings of self-doubt. In addition, UCLA neuroscientist Alex Korb found that we cannot focus on positive and negative feelings at the same time.1 

Gratitude also benefits the physical body. Since, as Korb discovered, we cannot focus on positive and negative emotions at the same time, when we live in gratitude, we are blocking the toxic emotions and their harmful effects on our bodies. 

Jay Shetty cites the research of Robert A. Emmons, a leading scientific expert on the science of gratitude, where he lists lower blood pressure, improved immune function, and better sleep as positive side effects of gratitude. Emmons’ studies also showed that gratitude can lessen depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, and it can also help prevent suicide2.

Gratitude is key in helping overcome negative thought patterns. Some of us have a negative mindset – maybe a poverty mindset – and gratitude helps us transform those mindsets from negative to positive. 

“When we are caught in the mind of poverty, we focus on what we are lacking; we feel we don’t deserve love; and we ignore all that we have been given,” writes Jay Shetty

Practicing conscious gratitude allows us to be open to the possibility that the reality we have seen doesn’t have to be where we stay. When we wait in gratefulness, we allow ourselves to be open to the opportunities life has in store for us.

 

Chapter 9 of Think Like a Monk explores different types of gratitude and how we can use them in our lives to transform ourselves. Pre-order Think Like a Monk to read more about gratitude.

 

1 Korb, Alex. The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time. New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2019.

2 UC Davis Health, Department of Public Affairs and Marketing. “Gratitude Is Good Medicine.” Gratitude Is Good Medicine, 25 Nov. 2015,