by Kyle Kick
BStrong Together Executive Director
As the seasons change and with the coming of the Thanksgiving holiday, November is the perfect time to focus on the powerful practice of gratitude.
Simply put, gratitude is a feeling of being thankful and appreciative, affirming the goodness in our lives and acknowledging the role that others play in that goodness.
In a Harvard University School of Medicine article, gratitude is identified as “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.”
Research shows that gratitude has wide-ranging benefits for our physical and mental health, happiness, and success. Gratitude builds connections and deeper relationships with others, increases self-esteem, builds resiliency, and reduces depression. It increases a sense of relaxation, sleep quality, energy levels, and vitality while reducing stress, pain and blood pressure. Gratitude encourages pro-social behavior leading to greater kindness toward others, and research shows that grateful people are both more likely to reach out to others in times of need as well as help others and provide support to those who are struggling.
At work, gratitude increases productivity and decision-making, creates a more pleasant work environment, deepens connections, and helps with reaching career goals.
And it makes us happier, too! Researcher and author Brene Brown explains the powerful connection between gratitude and joy in this short video.
Gratitude doesn’t always come naturally, but the good news is that adopting gratitude practices trains the brain to focus on positive experiences, interactions, and emotions. Gratitude and its benefits to our health and well-being grow as we practice it.
Here are some ways to encourage gratitude in your life and with your family:
Wishing you a wonderful month of slowing down to savor the goodness in your life and showing your gratitude to others.
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