Thanksgiving creates the opportunity to take stock of everything that makes you feel grateful. While it’s nice to practice gratitude once a year, consistent and mindful gratitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; therefore, the health benefits of gratitude can become exponential and positively impact all areas of your life.
A Harvard Medical School article entitled, “Giving Thanks Makes You Happier,” summarizes a study performed by psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCollaugh. Over the course of two weeks, one group of participants was asked to write down things they were grateful for while the other group was asked to write down things that irritated them.
The results? Those that focused on gratitude “felt better about their lives” and that positivity transferred to other areas of their lives.
People who regularly practice gratitude are likely to experience the following health benefits:
A More Positive Outlook
People who intentionally practice gratitude tend to err on the side of the glass is half-full approach. This mindset flows into all areas of a person’s life and that person is more likely to demonstrate resilience when faced with adversity.
When you practice gratitude, you are less likely to be weighed down by negativity because you are aware of all the positive things happening around you in your own life.
More Motivation to Exercise and Make Healthy Choices
With more positive vibes flowing through you, the inclination to make healthier choices is a much easier feat than when you are weighed down by negativity. The positivity breeds energy and motivation to get out and exercise and feeding your body with healthier foods.
Experience Less Stress and Anxiety
As a product of your gratitude, your positivity, and healthy choices keeps your stress and anxiety in check. The endorphins you release through exercise and the nutrients you’re feeding your body allow you to naturally regulate your mental health and helps you keep the negative effects of stress and anxiety at bay.
Naturally, a positive outlook, more exercise, better eating habits, and less stress and anxiety foster a more restful night’s sleep. As a result, you are able to cope with any stressors in your life more effectively.
Taking five minutes each day to show gratitude, you invest in a present, happier YOU.