Posted by: tk729 | November 12, 2010

Giving Thanks Can Make You Healthier, Happier

With the holiday season in full swing, many of us take the time to express gratitude about the blessings in our lives.   However, we shouldn’t limit this attitude of gratitude to just this time of year with researchers discovering that gratitude is really good for your health. Listed below is a list of strategies to show thanks from an article from USA Today.

In an experimental comparison, people who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercised more regularly, reported fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who recorded hassles or neutral life events. Young adults who practice a daily gratitude intervention (self-guided exercises) had higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy compared to the group that focused on hassles or thinking of how they were better off than others.  The list doesn’t stop there.  To learn more, read here.

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1)  Keep a gratitude journal, listing the gifts in your life, daily, twice-weekly or weekly. Try to be specific. And don’t repeat the same things each time.

2) Make a list of people or circumstances in your life that you take for granted — and then consider what your life would be like without them ( “the George Bailey effect,” from It’s a Wonderful Life).

3) Write a letter of thanks to someone who made a difference in your life. Consider delivering and reading it in person.

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Responses

  1. I completely agree with how having an attitude of gratitude can make someone a happier person. I’ve definitely noticed this on a daily basis and when I have those moments of sadness or whatever a problem may be, if I think of all the things that I can and should be grateful for I feel so much better. It’s a good thing to keep in perspective.

  2. Gratitute is a great attribute and being thankful for everything in your life indeed makes you appreciate life and happy too.

  3. I have kept a gratitude journal and can really say that this does help make you feel healthier and happier. Focusing on positive things is always beneficial!

  4. Thanks for posting on Thanksgiving and reminding us how important it is to be grateful. It will help us spiritually and physically. As human beings we seem to feel as though we never have enough and if we just stop back and take a look at how much we really have we will be amazed

  5. I always get a smile on my face when people are grateful for something that I have done for them. I know that I need to be better at showing my gratitude to others so they can have the same happy feeling.

  6. This is so true! People who count their blessings are also more willing to serve others. I love all the positive tips you are giving us.

  7. I think that is so true the more that I am thinking about the things I am blessed with in my life the happier I am in my life, and people who are grateful are so much better to be around and serve!

  8. This is great! I’ve noticed how showing gratitude brings more humble love and service into my life, which is then a catalyst for increasing gratitude for other blessings. How blessed we are!

  9. I agree 100% with this statement. Being grateful makes you happier because you see all the blessing around you it makes you want to serve others too :).

  10. I love thinking about the blessings in my life. There are two perspectives on life. Either everything is going wrong or everything is going right. If we can always take the perspective of everything is going right then our lives will be much happier even if we are going through trials.

  11. I am so grateful for this post! The holidays become way to commercial. This is the first Thanksgiving I actually did not have a Thanksgiving feast for and it was nice to just ponder the real meaning and purpose of Thanksgiving and focus on what I am grateful for in my life.

  12. Thanks so much for this post! I too believe that when we focus on the many things we have to be thankful for and continually show our gratitude, we tend to forget about any negatives that we might face.

  13. Wow I really love your blog, these are all great reminders to keep your mental, physical, and spiritual health. The articles and facts that you add with it really do support the point you are trying to make.

  14. I used to keep a gratitude journal. It made me so happy to reflect on all of the things I was blessed with, and made me realize that there is happiness all around me. I really need to start writing in it again!

  15. That study that was done was really interesting on those who gave gratitude daily as opposed to those who did so just during a certain season.

  16. I wish more people would do this! It’s so easy to take the things we have for granted, but writing things down and taking the time to think about the wonderful gifts we have definitely helps remind us how lucky we are. I think I’m going to start doing this. I definitely agree that making a thankful list will help keep our lives happier and more satisfying. Thank you!


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