The Power of Gratitude for Health, Happiness and Well-Being
Soon Thanksgiving will be here and many are ready to indulge in the many delights that has been prepared. Sure, you may be eating turkey with dressing or even a roast. While you may be thinking about the feast and/or watching football on TV and even a holiday movie, it’s really important to understand the reason why this holiday exists. Least we forget that it’s important to give thanks. We’ve become a consumer oriented society that having gratitude has been lost. Trying to keep up with the Jones’ attitude is showing a lack of gratitude. Additionally, gratitude is not something that the world of psychology has investigated much. Psychiatrists tend to focus on what is wrong with people versus what is right. Hence, the DSM has propagated this further. Medicine tends to give a plethora of medications that is supposed to help those with mental ailments instead of focusing on the positive aspects of the individual and enhancing that.
Instead of bringing forth a “what’s wrong with me” attitude, I propose to focus on “what is right with me and to be grateful for that” attitude.
Let’s take a journey to your past and to the day you were born. The chances of you even existing is astronomical. Let’s say that your great-great paternal grandfather had not met your great-great paternal grandmother. Guess what? No you. Simply a slight deviation in any part of your family’s past on both sides would change things in the present. Just to be born is the first thing you should be grateful for. Thank your family for bringing your into this world. Thank your immediate family for being a part of your life.
Whether new or old, true friends are wonderful. This special relationship is the next thing to be grateful for. We’ve all been up and down in our life, right? Having supportive friends really help. They are there when things go great and when things go wrong. They help celebrate your successes and encourage you when you fail. I love my friends and am truly grateful to have them in my life.
Waking up to a new day. This 3rd thing to be grateful for is one we should all embrace. You should give thanks that you can get up and do something with each minute given to you. Here’s the thing, once it goes, it goes. The moments you have right now is yours to spend how you see fit. Be grateful that you can learn new things. Each day I look over the books I have, the people in my life and the courses I take. I learn from all of them and more. There are many benefits to having gratitude, here are several…
- Simply saying “thanks” to those around you and to strangers helps to start a new relationship or enhance an old one. People love to be appreciated.
- Being grateful strengthens one’s health. In fact, those that are grateful tend to exercise and show happiness more. In this sense, depression is reduced.
- When we have gratitude, aggression is decreased. We are more able to see the pain in others and the strength in ourselves.
- Gratitude builds resilience and mental toughness. When we appreciate what we do have we won’t be focused on those external things we don’t have. The truth is that embracing now is the most important thing we can do and being grateful for those moment.
- Gratitude improve self-worth and self-esteem. Through this, we can appreciate the accomplishments of others without any jealousy. When we do, we can focus on what we can do to move us forward while embracing who we are.
Now is the time to start being grateful. Don’t just make it for one time of year either. Having the “attitude of gratitude” should be done year round. Just do it!