Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday—there’s something about being with friends and family and honoring all the good things in our lives that just makes me happy! Turns out, there’s actually scientific research to back this warm and fuzzy feeling up (and no, it’s not the wine).
The tradition of showing gratitude goes back thousands of years and recent studies have shown that grateful people are actually more satisfied with life than others. But for some reason, being grateful is not always our automatic response to life—it’s far too easy to get absorbed in everyday nuances and many of us have to make a conscience effort to show thanks. If this sounds familiar, here’s some motivation to adopt an attitude of gratitude 365 days a year:
Showing gratitude helps us cope with the challenges of everyday life. From road rage to PTSD, having a more empathetic mind-set will help you manage stress, which can have a major impact on your health.
Improve Your Mood.
Because it just feels good when we show appreciate for others, right? Plus, mood boosting endorphins are released when we smile. This is surely the quickest, cheapest and most effective way to beat the blues.
Tell the people you care about that you appreciate them. It will remind them why they care about and appreciate you, and make your bond all that much stronger! Studies have also shown that thanking people you meet helps form new relationships.
Research has shown that grateful people actually feel healthier and are more likely to exercise and eat well.
Boost Your Immune System.
Gratitude plays a major role in your immune health—from the common cold, broken bones or more serious ailments, being optimistic is proven to help us build immune strength and heal quicker.
If you’re someone whose mind races all night, practicing gratitude will help you worry less so you can sleep longer and deeper, and better sleep will have a domino effect on your health.
So, how can you keep this going year-round? Stash a gratitude journal by your bed and write down 5 things you’re grateful for every morning or evening (even just a few times a week will work too!). You can also incorporate gratitude into your daily meditation or mindfulness practice, if you have one.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m asking you to share this along with five things your grateful for. Do it for your health!