Five Ways Gratitude Makes You Healthy and Happy

Family, Self

Thanksgiving rush getting you down? These tips will help you get in touch with your inner calm...

With Thanksgiving weekend around the corner, it can seem as though there won’t be enough time to get everything ready.  Shopping lists, invitations, travel plans, details, searching for last year’s décor - it’s enough to forget what the holiday was designed for, which is thankfulness and gratitude for all we have!

It might be a stretch to be thankful for the pre-holiday panic, but putting the to-do list to the side for a moment will do wonders to take the stress out of your week, not only this week but all through the holiday season.

Gratitude is part of happiness. Did you ever try to feel the emotions of gratitude and anger at the same time? Gratitude is part of a healthy attitude towards life, especially when we look back at all we have accomplished and overcome. And, being grateful is part of being a very attractive person to yourself and others.  A healthy mind, body and spirit is what true health is made of, and being thankful is an indispensable part of your foundation.

Five Ways Gratitude Makes You Healthy and Happy

1) Being grateful makes the here and now okay. Instead of running to the next list of things we think we need or want, feeling grateful slows everything down. Taking stock, being thankful  about things we usually take for granted, and making a list of what we are happy about takes our mind from focusing on ‘lack,’ to focusing on abundance.  This is not to ignore the negative, but to bridge our path to a positive outlook.

2) Being grateful aligns you so that good things to happen. For example, if you’d like to earn more money, it is best not to curse the small amount you find in your wallet. If you’d like more friends, best not to put down the ones you have. If you’d like to lose a lot of weight, best not to moan about the 2 pounds you lost last month. Aligning your feelings of gratitude for small things paves the path for these accomplishments to grow. Your appreciation and gratitude is like watering the seeds you’ve planted! Even Oprah Winfrey keeps a gratitude journal.

3) Being grateful helps you to be much healthier. If you appreciate your body, for example, you will take very good care of it through sufficient sleep, good food, fresh air, and plenty of exercise. Being appreciative of certain features such as a pretty smile or lovely hair helps boost self-esteem and self-acceptance which, in turn, is very attractive to others.

4) Positive families and communities express gratitude to enhance a sense of inter-connection. Dr. Barbara Frederickson in her book, Positivity, includes gratitude among the seven basic elements of a happy and healthy lifestyle. Being grateful about your funny Aunt Mary or your little brother will strengthen your relationships and feeling of being connected to others, all our faults included.

5) Being grateful feels good! Instead of grumbling to take your dog on a walk on a rainy afternoon, you can thank him for being such a great companion who is always there for you. The choice is yours, so you might consider reaching for the emotion that feels best. You will benefit in the long run, and good things are not far behind.

What are some of your favorite ways of expressing gratitude?