Issues: , , , , , ,

Article by Rian Razo, MA

Rian Razo, MA

Gratitude is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” With Thanksgiving approaching, it is the perfect time to practice gratitude. The holidays bring on family togetherness and memories. Simultaneously, the holidays can bring on feelings of grief, depression, and sadness especially if there was a loss in the family. If you are in a place of being overwhelmed or feeling down, research suggests that practicing gratitude can actually help. Psychology Today reported 7 scientifically proven health benefits from practicing gratitude:

  • Opening the door to more relationships
  • Improved physical health
  • Improved psychological health
  • Enhanced empathy and reduced aggression
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Increased mental strength

Increasing your awareness to practice gratitude in your daily life can rewire your brain to increase moments of joy and decrease stress. So how can gratitude be practiced? created the following list of ways to practice gratitude:

  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Ask yourself three questions about the relationships in your life: “What have I received from__?”, “What have I given to ___?”, and “What troubles and difficulties have I caused___?”
  • Share your gratitude with others to strengthen your relationships and show appreciation
  • Come to your senses by focusing on what you can see, smell, taste, and hear; it can remind you of how good it feels to be human
  • Use visual reminders to trigger thoughts of gratitude. Often time, people in our lives can be that positive trigger
  • Make a vow to practice gratitude
  • Watch your language
  • Go through the motions of saying thank you, smiling, and writing letters of gratitude until it becomes a habit

We want to hear about what you’re thankful for! Keep an eye on our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram to respond on our post about ways you have been practicing gratitude this month!