The Thanksgiving season is a wonderful and much needed opportunity to reflect on all the wonderful things we’ve experienced over the past year. And, November encourages us to embrace the power of gratitude. Perhaps, it’s one of the reasons we feel so good during this holiday. Although, pumpkin pie does help! All kidding aside, research (and common sense) suggests that one aspect of the Thanksgiving season can actually lift the spirits, being grateful. So, just imagine how practicing gratitude daily could help you experience more positive emotions. In the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” It is the virtue of rejoicing what is. And, an antidote to negative emotions.
What is Gratitude and Why is it Important?
Gratitude is pausing to notice and appreciate the things that we often take for granted (food, water, friends, family, etc.). It is an expression of appreciation for what one has. When it comes to the pursuit of happiness and life satisfaction in retirement, it offers a long-lasting effect. In fact, studies have shown that maintaining a foundation of gratitude is one of the key ingredients to a long, healthy and fulfilling life.
The Benefits of Gratitude (not a complete list):
- Less anxiety and depression
- More optimism
- More social connected-ness
- Less anger
- Better sleep
- Better mental and physical health
How to Practice Gratitude Daily
From relieving stress to accepting change, it has the power to turn what we have into enough. But, only you can decide to be grateful. It cannot be requested, demanded, or coerced, it can only be given.
- Three things routine, each day take time to think of three good things that you’re grateful for.
- Keep a journal, each day write down up to five things for which you feel grateful.
- Share your it with others.
- Be mindful of the things that bring you joy.
- Give back whenever you can.
- Say thank you every day.
- Send thank you letters.