Gratitude…revisited

Being grateful at Thanksgiving is something we consciously pay attention to and verbalize around a table of family and friends….but why not do it year-round? I’ve written about it before, but I think it’s always good to re-visit the subject to remind us that it’s something we need to nurture, in order to sustain it.

It’s been scientifically proven , many times, that being a grateful person is very beneficial to your health and overall well being! Here are some reasons why…and a few ways to increase your gratitude meter….

  • Say thanks! Sure, it’s good manners to say “Thank you”, but it’s also been proven that saying “thank you” to someone makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. Well that’s an easy way to make and keep friends, don’t you think!?
  • Grateful people are healthier! They experience fewer aches & pains…and tend to take better care of their health, exercising more and having annual well check-ups at the dr.
  • Gratefulness improves psychological health too, increases happiness and reduces depression. It’s hard to be grateful if you’re always on the defensive thinking the world is out to get you, so by reducing the bad feelings, anger, resentment and envy you improve your psychological well being.
  • Gratitude journal-ing may improve sleep. I think any kind of journal-ing, whether it’s getting your negative thoughts out and onto paper or writing down 3 things your grateful for, improves sleep and your whole disposition.
  • Gratitude improves self esteem! According to a sports psychology study, athletes who had a feeling of trust from their coaches increased their gratitude over time, and in turn, increased their self esteem. Wouldn’t it be nice if all coaches knew this!?
  • Gratitude reduces stress and increases resiliency. Recognizing that you have so much to be thankful for makes even the worst of times more manageable.

Gauge where you stand on the subject in this quick 6 item gratitude questionnaire.

One more thing…A bit off-topic….but a recent study shows that singing in groups reduces anxiety and depression. Of course it does….. you’re singing and you’re with a group!! That would probably help improve your gratitude meter too. So go join a choir! …or better yet, sing with your family, like this one does… (thanks Taylor for the link)

You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!

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