Thanksgiving is this Thursday and if you are breathing, can see this post and read it I would venture to say you have reason to be thankful! That’s the way I look at it anyway. I am very thankful you are reading this post. In honor of Thanksgiving I wanted to share several science-backed and evidence based benefits of gratitude. I hope they will inspire you to be intentionally thankful, not just this week as we celebrate Thanksgiving, but every day.
Gratitude improves your mood and helps you experience more positivity by causing your brain to produce more of two neurotransmitters, dopamine, which is related to feelings of pleasure and reward-motivated behavior, and serotonin, which helps regulate mood and social behavior.
Gratitude is one of the most effective stress relievers there is. According to research, when a study participant focused on the things they were grateful for, their heart rates decreased, which is associated with a calm state. Practicing gratitude relaxed communication between various regions of the brain associated with increased anxiety.
Gratitude also gives you the ability to analyze and respond rather than just react to what is arising in a situation that triggers feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, sadness, anger or depression.
During periods of mental stress and emotional trauma using gratitude as a coping mechanism can help alleviate some of the pain as well as preventing the formation of symptoms of PTSD and depression. Counting your blessings is powerful medicine!
Grateful people report better physical health. Why? Your psychological health improves which leads to participating in more healthy activities and habits. Gratitude can also result in a better mood, better quality of sleep and even lower amounts of inflammation in the body.
Adequate, restful sleep is critical to overall health and practicing gratitude reduces feelings of worry and arousal that can interfere with restful sleep.
Gratitude helps you see the glass half full rather than focusing on the negatives in life.
This 30 minute video about the life of Claire Wineland absolutely illustrates what true gratitude is and how it impacts not only your life but everyone around you in a positive way. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I hope this will convince you to be more intentional about practicing gratitude in your daily life.
How do you practice gratitude?
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More great examples of how it’s all connected! Wonderful post, Ann. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you Holly! Wishing you and Jer a truly beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving! I’m grateful for you.
Thank you and same to you.
Love this Ms. Ann. Gratitude is not just about saying thank you to others; it’s showing appreciation of yourself enough to take care of yourself (rest, giving thanks, relieving stress, etc.). What a wonderful reminder that gratitude includes self-care my friend. Happy Thanksgiving to your and your family and God’s blessings ma’am.
Thank you so much J.D. Your comments always encourage and bless me. I’m thankful we connected!
Ann, I always enjoy learning how our bodies and souls are connected. I hope you had a great holiday.
Thank you Debbie. And yes, my Thanksgiving was wonderful. I hope yours was too.