Studies show that practicing gratitude has many benefits to our overall health. Gratitude fuels positive emotions, helps us deal with adversity, and fosters strong and healthy relationships, all of which impact our overall health and well-being. We also know that gratitude can lead people to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviors like exercise and not smoking.
With Thanksgiving approaching, it’s a great time to invigorate (or initiate) your gratitude practice. Practicing a mindset of gratitude helps you focus on what you have instead of what you lack. Make a point to start your day with gratitude, and you will notice a shift in thinking - obstacles will become opportunities. Once you start seeing opportunities as something to be grateful for, your brain will look for more occasions to be thankful, and the habit of gratitude will grow. This year, let’s go beyond the #blessed, to think deeper, and be more intentional about appreciating our blessings. Try these additional ways to cultivate gratitude over the holidays and all year round:
Count your Blessings - As you sit with family and friends around the Thanksgiving table, share a couple of things that you are grateful for and to deepen and enrich the conversation, share the “why” behind your gratitude.
Write a thank-you note - Writing a note to express appreciation brings feelings of happiness, and it nurtures love and kindness in relationships. Happy, healthy, meaningful relationships decrease our stress and improve health.
Mindfulness Meditation - The practice of presence allows us to experience small joys in the moment that otherwise may be missed. Take time to smell the delicious aromas of holiday cooking, feel the crisp cool air, see the joy in your children’s eyes, and embrace moments of stillness.
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