Research Shows an Attitude of Gratitude Makes You Happier & Healthier
According to the Webster Dictionary, Grateful is a feeling while thankful is an act. When someone does something good to you or for you, you feel grateful for that person, and you offer your thanks to that person as an action. Thankfulness is often associated with either words or gesture of appreciation.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, it is a good time to reflect on the areas in life we are grateful for and acknowledge that feeling. But, with the hustle and bustle of busy daily schedules, when you say “thank you”, do you really mean it or is it just politeness to which you give little attention? Neuroscientists have found that if you really feel it when you say it, you’ll be happier and healthier. The regular practice of expressing gratitude is not a New Age fad; it’s a facet of the human condition that reaps true benefits to those who mean it.
Research tells us a consistent ‘attitude of gratitude’ is associated with positive emotions, better overall health and stronger personal relationships. Focusing on what we have vs. what we don’t have is mental work, this isn’t the mind set our societal influences give us; we are often marketed into feeling, “I need more to be happy.” An attitude of gratitude, it’s a mindset we must continuously work for.
We also know the lasting effects of gratitude are psychologically protective. In adolescents, feelings of gratitude have shown an inverse correlation with bullying victimization and suicide risk. Gratitude affects brain function on a chemical level and its practice promotes feelings of self-worth and compassion for others.
In times of hardship or stress it might seem difficult to be grateful. But if you really think about it, we all have something to be grateful for. If you engage in only one prayer, let it be simply a heartfelt “thank you”.
Here’s a few ways you can start your positive psychology of gratitude today:
- Write down things you are grateful for on a regular basis, 3 things before you go to bed at night is a great way to start
- Write a thank you note to someone
- Thank someone mentally by just thinking of them or their good deed
- Think of positive past experiences
- Think of present good fortune and blessings and do not take these for granted
- Maintain hope and optimism when thinking of future events
- Make it a point to tell people in your life what you appreciate about them
We at Happy Trails are so grateful to all of our customers, followers, staff and family and want to say “thank you” for joining us in this incredible journey of holistic health and well-being.
Happy Trails wishes you and your loved ones a very happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving holiday!
- “Neuroscience Reveals How Gratitude Literally Rewires Your Brain to Be Happier.” DailyHealthPost, 21 July 2019, dailyhealthpost.com/gratitude-rewires-brain-happier/.
- Mérida-López, et al. “Being Bullied at School: Gratitude as Potential Protective Factor for Suicide Risk in Adolescents.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 11 Mar. 2019, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00662/full.