Thanksgiving is the perfect time to take a moment and consider the value and benefits of gratitude. Especially when today’s research suggests that individuals who feel gratitude experience greater happiness, as well as better physical and mental health.
Gratitude is the simple act of appreciating what is valuable and meaningful in life. In order to cultivate this state of mind, begin by creating an awareness of what you are grateful for and then actively notice the many good things that are part of your day.
Here are a few practices to help get you started:
Use your senses and savor each pleasurable experience – like the aroma of baking bread, the taste of your morning coffee, the sound of birds singing outside your window or the gentle touch of a loved one. This practice can help increase the benefits to your psyche and your brain.
Start a gratitude journal – research shows that jotting down a few items each day is more effective than just thinking the thoughts.
Look for the positive – we all experience pain and disappointment, but learning how to react in a positive manner helps build resiliency which in turn can help us conquer the next challenge that life throws our way.
Give thanks to others – take a moment to reach out and thank the people in your life that have been a positive influence and explain why to be authentic. It will not only make them feel good, it will do the same for you – and will improve the quality of your relationship.
This Thanksgiving, take a moment to recall life’s little joys and begin the practice of experiencing life through grateful eyes. And perhaps continue the practice throughout the year.
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