November is here and that makes it the perfect time to celebrate what you’re thankful for! Many of us spend at least part of Thanksgiving thinking about and sharing with others a few things we are thankful for. But an attitude of gratitude doesn’t just have to be something we cultivate during the holiday season. The benefits of being grateful are numerous, and Healthy365 is here to help you improve your mental and physical health with a little extra gratitude.
What are the benefits of gratitude?
There are a number of benefits to cultivating gratitude, including some you may not expect. According to Psychology Today, being grateful will improve your overall contentment in your own life, and also encourages your sense of generosity toward others. It can strengthen the relationships you form with others, including friends, family and partners. Grateful people tend to sleep better, falling asleep more easily and feeling rested when they awaken for the day. Studies have also shown that feeling gratitude can help “lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, reduce symptoms of illness, and make us less bothered by aches and pains.”
Write down your reasons to be thankful
One great way to focus on gratitude is by journaling. You can start with committing to a short time period, like two weeks or a month, and make it a goal to write down what you are thankful for each day. Maybe end your night with this practice, or start each day out on the right foot by recording what you were grateful for the day before. And be specific! Your journaling may develop more over time from a simple list to longer stories, but no matter how long your entry, consistency is the real key to unlocking that attitude of gratitude.
Meditate by focusing on gratitude
Journaling can be a form of mindfulness, but so can meditation. If you already meditate regularly, try to add a focus on gratitude into your practice. If you have never meditated before, it can be a powerful tool to incorporate into your day. Take just a couple minutes once or twice a day to find a quiet space, close your eyes and focus on breathing. If you are new to meditating, you might enjoy a guided meditation on an app like Insight Timer or Calm. You can grow your spirit of gratitude by focusing on being thankful for not just the good things in your life, but the difficult things too.
Share your gratefulness with others
Telling your family or friends what you are grateful for at Thanksgiving dinner is a great practice. But you don’t have to limit that sharing to just one day. Make it a new habit to talk about the things you are thankful for more often! Saying these thoughts out loud will reinforce what you are feeling inside. You can also show your gratitude for others by writing them a special note or giving them a little pick-me-up like a favorite drink or candy. Before you know it, your attitude of gratitude will spread like wildfire to the people around you!
Seek out others with an attitude of gratitude
In addition to sharing gratitude with others, you can also seek out the company of people who already display thankfulness in their everyday life. You know the ones… those people who just have a real zest for life and love to share it with others. We think that our Healthy365 staff and Support Navigators have that special attitude of gratitude, since they are so thankful for the opportunity to help others in the Hancock County community live a healthier life.
If you are in a season where it’s hard to find gratitude, Healthy365 can help. We focus on the health and wellness of individuals who live, work, learn, play, and pray in Hancock Countyby addressing the most pressing health issues of our community. Contact our Support Navigators online or at 317-468-4231 to learn more today.