Happy Thanksgiving, and warmest wishes from Tangible Movement! I hope that you are all enjoying spending quality time with your families, indulging in delicious meals, and watching fall football! Today, I am swapping Therapy Thursday with Thankful Thursday in celebration of Turkey Day, and will be discussing the benefits of gratitude.
Everyone is familiar with the time-honored Thanksgiving tradition of sharing what one is grateful for with the group. No matter how many times the phrases “family”, “friends”, and “good health” are repeated, the process is comforting and affirming. However, expressing gratitude does more than create “warm and fuzzy” feelings - psychotherapist Amy Morin says gratitude improves physical and psychological health, enhances empathy, reduces aggression, improves self esteem, and increases quality of sleep. With such an extensive list of benefits, perhaps thankfulness should be a greater part of our lives. Here are some ways to incorporate gratitude into the daily routine:
1. Create a Gratitude Journal
Take a few minutes out of your day to reflect on your blessings before bed! Leave a notebook on your nightstand, and fill it up with a few thoughts each night. Research indicates that keeping gratitude journals makes people feel better about life and be more charitable toward others! Nothing is too small to include in this journal - record the little things that make you happy during your day!
2. Remember the Bad
Keeping things positive isn’t always the key to keeping ourselves happy. Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, proposes the idea that “to be grateful in your current state, it is helpful to remember the hard times that you once experienced. When you remember how difficult life used to be and how far you have come, you set up an explicit contrast in your mind, and this contrast is fertile ground for gratefulness.”
3. Appreciate Everything
Don’t reserve your gratitude for grandiose gestures! Forbes Magazine suggests that “The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for”. Identifying every single good thing that happens to you will make you a far more grateful person.
Thank you so much for reading, and I am wishing you all a very warm and joyful Thanksgiving. I am grateful for your readership and for the opportunity to work with an organization that is wholeheartedly dedicated to helping others. Tangible Movement sends their best regards!