Thanksgiving is a great time to get together with family and friends, share a meal and give thanks. But being thankful and grateful can and should happen any time during the year. Did you know practicing gratitude can help make you happier and healthier?
Benefits of Gratitude
There are many health benefits that are a result of the improved mood and sense of well-being experienced by people who regularly practice gratitude. Our brain releases happiness chemicals (serotonin and dopamine) when we give or get gratitude.
In addition, areas of the brain responsible for regulating emotions and memory activate when we feel gratitude. With a regular gratitude practice, these neuropathways get stronger delivering sustained feelings of contentment.
The facts are in the research. Here are some findings from recent studies; and there are others.
Gratitude helps improve our psychological health. It can increase joy, empathy, and improve self-esteem. On the flip side, it can even decrease depression and anger. Grateful people are more likely to exercise and keep up with doctors’ appointments. Both of which help to increase longevity.
Writing in a gratitude journal prior to going to bed helped with better sleep.
Do what fits you best and incorporate a regular gratitude practice into your life. Focus on simply saying ‘thank you’ and reflect on what makes you thankful. Set aside some time to write down or just reflect in your mind on the good things that have happened in your day. Write a letter to someone who impacted your life.
Whether you give this person the letter or not, the exercise will help improve your gratitude. Spend time with someone you appreciate.
Start your own gratitude practice today. You’ll be thankful you did.
Friends Life Care Partners is located at 531 Plymouth Road, Suite 500, Plymouth Meeting.
Contact us for more info: www.friendslifecare.org or 215-628-8964.