November is the month of Thankfulness. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate all that you are thankful for including family and friends. One way that I show appreciation for all that I have in life is by participating in 30 days of Thankfulness. Every day in the month of November, I let someone know that I am thankful to have them in my life. We often take for granted the amazing things in our life or the great events that happen to us every day. Thirty days of Thankfulness helps remind me to be thankful for what gifts I have been given. The holidays can often be a stressful time for many people. I have found that by finding one thing every day to be thankful for helps relieve some of that holiday stress. It helps me remember why life is so amazing. Participating in thankfulness also lets the people I care about, know how much I love and appreciate them. It is easy to get busy in life and forget your humanity. Giving thanks tends to help me find my humanity. The long winter months can sometimes bring the blahs from the lack of sunshine. Being Thankful helps drive away the winter blahs by bringing back the little rays of sunshine that exist in the world.
Showing gratitude can also improve your personal well-being. Harvey B. Simon, M.D., a writer for Harvard Men’s Health Watch, identifies that “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships”1. Many scientific studies have also found that gratitude can influence personal well-being. “In a sample of 389 adults, Wood et al10 examined gratitude and well-being in the context of personality style. In this study, gratitude was most strongly correlated with personality attributes related to well-being, and the researchers concluded that gratitude has a unique relationship with life satisfaction”2.
Want to improve your own well-being, promote a positive mind set, and bring gratitude to others ? Researchers suggest some ways to practice daily gratitude that might work for you:
1. Write a thank-you note to yourself or someone else
2. Keep a gratitude journal
3. Count your blessings
5. Meditate or Practice Mindfulness
6. Tell someone you are thankful for them in a meaningful way
2. Sansone RA, Sansone LA. Gratitude and well being: the benefits of appreciation. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2010;7(11):18-22