Tis' the season to be grateful. Have you ever sat around the Thanksgiving Dinner table as everyone took turns saying what they're thankful for? As we rush around this holiday season, it's important to remember to practice gratitude throughout the season, not just one evening. Gratitude is the state of being grateful and involves expressing appreciation and thanks for the things you have in your life. You can be thankful for anything, like a beautiful day or a delicious cup of coffee. The gratitude can also be for something less tangible, like being grateful for your health or the strength of a relationship. Why is it important to practice gratitude and how to get started?
There are quite a few physical and mental health benefits associated with practicing gratitude. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. They adhere to the idea that gratitude is a positive emotion that has a biological purpose. It must come from a deep appreciation for something or someone and not just an action or a fleeting thought. Otherwise, people attempting to practice gratitude may not see the benefits. Gratitude also encourages catharsis-the release of strong emotion and reciprocity-the idea of paying it forward or exchanging actions.
-Feel less pain.
-Feel less stress.
-Report increased optimism.
-Suffer less from insomnia.
-Report more self-control.
-Have more robust immune systems.
-Experience healthier relationships.
-Do better academically and professionally.
Journaling: One of the most popular ways to practice gratitude. There are quite a few prompts you can use when journaling. Try listing three things you're grateful for in the morning or before you go to bed. You can also describe the best part of your day.
Thank You Notes: Write thank you notes to the people in your life who have impacted you in some way. This year, instead of Christmas cards, write thank-you notes or a little message in each Holiday card.
Volunteering: Helping people or animals in need can be a way to reflect on your own life and be grateful for your circumstances. This can also help restore your faith in humanity and encourage others to volunteer as well.
Gratitude Collage: This is a visual reminder of all the things you're grateful for. Create a collage with images of things you are thankful for. Place this somewhere easy to see so you can look at it when you need that extra reminder.
Meditation: During your meditation, you can choose to think about things you're grateful for, focusing on one thing for them meditation session- family, work, past experiences, etc. This is beneficial in both the morning and the evening.
We encourage you to do one or a few of these practices to start to cultivate more gratitude in your life this holiday season. We hope that it will help you thrive during the holiday seasons so you can combat stress, stay healthy and truly enjoy your time with family and friends!