It’s that time of year where we start gathering with family and friends, counting our blessings and showing gratitude towards those that we love and for the things that we have. And while Thanksgiving is officially celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada, and the fourth Thursday of November in the United States, science shows that practicing thankfulness year-round can make a person happier, healthier and more optimistic.
5 reasons to foster an attitude of gratitude year-round
- Enhance Relationships. More than just good manners, saying “thank you” and showing appreciation can help you make more friends. This comes from a 2014 study in the publication Emotion that found when you thanked a new acquaintance they were more likely to seek an ongoing relationship. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Those that appreciate us for who we are, for our talents and contributions make us feel good about ourselves. So go ahead and do the same, be thankful for those that are in your life but also let them know how you feel.
- Improve Physical Health. A 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found that those who are grateful report fewer aches and pains than their less-positive counterparts. Further, people who practice an attitude of gratitude are more likely to take better care of their health, exercise more, and attend regular doctor check-ups, cumulating in better overall health.
- The Law of Attraction. You’ve likely heard of The Secret and the laws of attraction that state we get back what we put out into the world. When you are consciously aware of your blessings, and grateful for them, you reduce toxic emotions such as envy, resentment, anger, regret and frustration. Various studies have substantiated the link between gratitude and well-being, and the findings all confirm that gratitude can reduce depression and increase happiness.
- Social Graces. How do you react when someone is unkind towards you? If you are grateful, a 2012 University of Kentucky study found that you will be more likely to respond in a prosocial manner. Meaning you have an increased level of sensitivity and empathy towards others and their behaviours and are less likely to retaliate.
- Get More Zzzzz’s. If you have trouble sleeping, start a gratitude journal. Studies show that those who spend a few minutes each day writing down what they are grateful for get a better night’s sleep. This is because it lessens stress and increases positive thinking before going to bed; calming your mind and helping “shut it off” for a rest.
Cultivating a mindful, positive and appreciative outlook is one of the simplest ways to improve your life. It costs nothing and doesn’t take much time, actually, it takes less time and energy than complaining. All you have to do is become more consciously aware of your blessings. Continuously tell yourself what you are thankful for, let others know you appreciate them, and make gratitude a daily habit.
Written by Christine Tompa for Amintro, the social app designed exclusively for those 50+ looking to make new friends, find new opportunities and live life to the fullest. Pre-register now and be notified the moment we launch.
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