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On this Thanksgiving Day let's consider what research has found are the many benefits of giving thanks:
1. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people.
2. Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret.
3. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
4. Grateful people sleep better.
5. Gratitude improves self-esteem.
6. Gratitude reduces stress and may also help in overcoming trauma.
And it is good for your relationships!
In fact, in Spontaneous Happiness: A New Path to Emotional Well-Being, Dr. Andrew Weil writes that the easiest way to overcome depression, be happy, and improve one's health is through developing an attitude of gratitude.
So how do you develop an attitude of gratitude?
Here are two simple strategies:
1. From the moment you wake up keep giving thanks for whatever you have, see or feel. Keep saying thank you in your mind and your heart.
2. When you face a stressful situation ask yourself, "What can I be grateful for this situation?" Then focus on what you are grateful for as best as you can, instead of what's bad about it.
These two simple strategies practiced daily can change the neuropathways in your brain and make being in a state of gratitude an effortless part of your mental and emotional habit.
You will see many wonderful physical, mental, and emotional benefits. So, start on this Thanksgiving Day and continue it for the rest of your life!
Stay informed. Stay well.