As Thanksgiving draws near, our thoughts naturally turn to gratitude – a sentiment that warms the air and fills our days with appreciation. Beyond a seasonal tradition, gratitude becomes a guiding light, offering profound benefits for our well-being. Let’s dive into what being grateful means for us and explore how embracing this transformative emotion can enrich our lives, bolster our health, and strengthen our relationships.
The Science of Gratitude
There are lots of ways to talk about gratitude, but our favorite comes from Dr. Robert Emmons, a renowned researcher in the science of gratitude. He says…
“Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change people’s lives.”
Being grateful is not merely an emotion but a dynamic force for positive change. It brings joy, love, and optimism while protecting against destructive impulses, such as envy and resentment. Its impact on our mental and emotional health is profound, making it an invaluable tool in our journey toward overall well-being.
Dr. Emmons breaks it down into two key parts:
Recognize the Good: Make an effort to notice the good stuff in our lives. It’s like actively searching for moments of beauty, kindness, and strength when life throws us challenges. This recognition becomes the backbone for building a positive mindset and a strong spirit.
Acknowledge External Sources: Gratitude is a team sport, recognizing that the good things often come from outside ourselves. It’s the support from friends, unexpected moments of joy, and the connections we share that make our appreciation grow.
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How can we make gratitude a part of our everyday lives?
Mindful Moments: Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. Whether through meditation or a mindful walk, these practices can help you appreciate the present moment and foster a sense of gratitude.
Journaling and Getting Specific: Keep a journal to document moments of positivity. Dive into the details of what (and who) you’re grateful for; the more specific, the better. Specificity intensifies feelings of gratitude, creating a lasting impact.
Express How You Feel: Gratitude is a gift meant to be shared. Let those who positively impact your life know through words, gestures, or acts of kindness. This helps strengthen relationships and fosters a sense of community.
It’s more than a feeling
As we stand on the cusp of gratefulness, let’s embrace this positive emotion. Not just as a seasonal sentiment but as a constant companion in our lives. By recognizing the good, acknowledging external sources, and practicing gratitude in meaningful ways, we cultivate a positive foundation for well-being. This season and beyond, let gratitude be your guiding light, reminding us of the richness that comes from a thankful heart.
- Read What to Say in a “Thinking of You” Card
- Read When Words of Gratitude Are All We Have
- Read How to Write a Thoughtful Thank You Note to Someone Who Supported You During Cancer
- Send a Card to a Cancer Patient
- Download the Supporter Roadmap
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- Learn more about the b-present Foundation