Thanksgiving is not usually considered a healthy holiday. Although it may mean trouble for your waistline, the holiday’s emphasis on gratitude makes Thanksgiving a great time to boost your mental health and sense of well-being.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude: noun grat·i·tude \ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\ a feeling of appreciation or thanks.
How does it impact health and well-being?
Gratitude is the process of recognizing and acknowledging the good things in life. It can create a positive shift people’s attitudes and perspectives by helping them focus on what they have instead of what they lack. Gratitude can help people appreciate and build stronger relationships with the people in their life, relish good experiences, improve their health, and better deal with adversity. In these ways, increasing gratitude is associated with an increase in happiness and feelings of well-being.
How can I practice gratitude?
-Write a thank-you note. Even if you don’t send it, the process of putting your feelings into words can be a therapeutic and worthwhile exercise.
-Keep a gratitude journal. If you already have a journal, consider adding a few lines at the end of each entry about the things you’re thankful for.
-Count your blessings. Start small by trying to mentally list 3-5 things that you’re grateful for at the end of each week.
-Meditate or pray. Take some time to create a calm atmosphere where you can quietly reflect on the things in your life that you’re grateful for.
Take a few minutes now to think about some of the things that you’re thankful for, and feel free to share in the comments below!