Gratitude Is Not Just For Thanksgiving

Gratitude Is Not Just For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday in which we reflect upon who and what we are grateful, but that doesn’t mean it has to end when the dishes for Thanksgiving are washed and put away. The practice of gratitude is an ancient art that can enhance well-being and enrich interpersonal relationships. So why not keep the momentum of the day going?

People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to observe and meditate upon the people, places, experiences and material goods they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, are more engaged in life, are better rested, feel and express more kindness and compassion, and even have stronger immune systems. And gratitude isn’t only for special moments, it’s for any and everything you appreciate: a beautiful sunset, hearing your favorite song on the radio or a delicious meal.

Psychologists find that feeling grateful boosts happiness and fosters both physical and psychological health. Studies show that practicing gratitude decreases the use of words expressing negative emotions and shifts inner attention away from such negative emotions as resentment and envy, decreases negative inner talk and fixations on pessimistic and toxic behaviors and beliefs.

How Can You Practice Gratitude?

1. Spend time around family and friends. Feel the love. Laugh. Be happy. Enjoy the feeling of being around people that get you and give you unconditional love.

2. Makes lists of the big and small things you’re grateful for. In good times, read the list to remind you of all you have to be grateful for. When you’re anxious or sad, re-read the list and experience the happiness you feel from the items on your list to help you feel better.

3. Tell the people in your life what they mean to. you. If you love them, say it. If they’ve impacted your life in a positive way, share it with them. Send thank you notes – whether it’s on stationary, or via an email or text. Share your appreciation.

4. Be kind to others for no reason. Pay it forward. Buy someone a cup of coffee. Give someone flowers just because. Leave a thank you note on someone’s desk or car.

What Happens When You Practice Gratitude?

  1. You make other people happy.
  2. You will find you are on the receiving end of other’s kindness and compassion simply because you offered it first.
  3. Continued practice of gratitude will place you in a state of positive well-being in which you feel better, act better and are better. Your perception of life can change for the better.

This Thanksgiving spend the day being thankful for all you have, but don’t stop there. Keep a gratitude journal, do 10-minute gratitude meditations before you rise or after you go to bed, say please and thank you and let the people in your life know you appreciate them – and watch your life improve.

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