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Giving thanks is good for you


The season of Thanksgiving has arrived. For many of us, this is a day filled with family and lots of good food. But at the heart of this holiday is the tradition of giving thanks.

This year, you may want to consider how adding gratitude into your daily life could improve your overall well-being.

What it means to be grateful

Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation for the benefits we’ve received—whether or not you asked for them.When we feel grateful, we recognize two important things: 1. that there are good things occurring in our lives, and 2. that the source of these good things is oftentimes due to someone or something outside of ourselves.

It’s a powerful feeling that triggers positivity, which in turn can benefit your well-being. Here are a few reasons why being grateful can make a difference in your life:

Focusing on the half-full glass. Having a grateful attitude has been shown by researchers to boost positivity, joy and love, and decrease feelings of depression, envy and resentment. The more you discipline your mind toward grateful thoughts, the more this mindset may change your outlook for the better.

Having the “write” attitude. Even something as simple as writing about your thankful thoughts can impact your life for the better. Researchers found that people who tracked their gratitude once a week were more positive and had fewer physical complaints.

Building stronger relationships. Gratitude has also been linked to improving our personal relationships.When we express our thanks to others, we make a positive impact in their lives and see a mood boost in ourselves.

Tips for saying thanks

Are you ready to add the positive influence of gratitude to your life? Here are some tips for expressing what you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving and all your days after:

  • Send a note. Reinforce the positive effect people have on your life by giving them a thank-you note. Make a habit of writing these notes once or twice a month. Reading them aloud in personcan yield the greatest increase in happiness.
  • Count your blessings. Focus your thoughts on the good things in life by writing them in a place where you can read them again. A gratitude journal may help your feelings continue in a positivedirection. Can’t think of what to jot down? Pick a number, count your blessings and start a running list.
  • Pray about it. Offering up your daily list of what you’re thankful for is yet another way to develop a powerful sense of positivity by helping you feel connected to a higher power that’s outside of yourself.

Making a happy effort

If you’re looking for more ways to invite happiness into your life, staying active can help. Try using these tips to beat the cold-weather blues.