With Thanksgiving right around the corner, and November being “30 Days of Thankfulness” on Facebook, we are all trying to remember to be thankful each and every day for our lives now. For some of us, this is easy. For others, this is really difficult. Then there are those that it really depends on the day. Making thankfulness a daily habit, not just during the holidays, has some really amazing benefits for our emotional, mental, and awesome enough, our physical well-being.
Being thankful helps us to counter negativity by focusing on the good stuff happening in our lives instead of dwelling on what may not be going the way we think it should. When people focus on the positive, they are more able to handle, and bounce back, when life throws curveballs. Not only that, but also are more likely to make progress towards important life goals.
Thankfulness enables us to be present to our relationships. Couples who remember to be thankful towards each other are happier, stay together longer and be more satisfied in their relationship. Thankful people also tend to report helping people with their problems or be emotionally supportive when people are going through hard times.
People who are intentional about being thankful experience several physically positive results. They tend sleep better (and longer), have stronger immune systems, exercise more, while feeling less depression and stress. All of this combined is a recipe for good health, healthy relationships, achieving life goals and feeling well overall.
Thankfulness is easier said than done sometimes. Here are four ways to start your journey:
- Three Blessings: Every night before you go to bed, write down (on paper) three blessings that happened that day. This is one of the best known and researched methods to help focus on the positives that happen each and every day.
- Say “Thank You”: By taking the time to acknowledge what someone has done for you not only helps you take notice of what they did, but makes them feel appreciated as well. This goes a long way towards happiness and satisfaction in all relationships.
- Acknowledge What You DO Have: It is easy to dwell on what we don’t have. Often times we forget all the wonderful things we do have. Even when going through a hard time, there are things that we do have that make our lives better. For example: You do have a job that you don’t like, but it pays the bills, gives you skills you will be able to use in another career or place of work. So acknowledge what you do have. This leads me to:
- Feel Your Feelings: When you are upset, angry, feeling like life is awful, etc…feel your feelings. This is not permission to dwell on the negative. It is an acknowledgement of what you are feeling, why you are feeling it and then giving yourself permission to let go and move on. Things don’t usually change overnight but we can change our attitude while we are working on moving on to the next chapter in our lives.
Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope that come January you will keep on the Thankfulness track and experience greater satisfaction with life, relationships and better health.
Live Healthy and Whole,