Originally published on November 26, 2014 in the Macoupin County~Carlinville Enquirer~Democrat Newspaper
The month of November is typically a time to give thanks. Are you sharing gratitude during the eleventh month or all year long? Perhaps you and your family will express gratitude on Thanksgiving Day as you gather together to share a special meal.
There are so many reasons why it is important to show sincere gratitude. It’s not as simple as stating, “Hey, thanks!” A concerted effort of acknowledging gratitude and expressing your appreciation with sincerity offers many benefits. Doing so consistently will change you for the better.
Sure, the recipient appreciates and benefits from the gratitude that you share from your heart. However, do you know that you too will benefit from thanking family and friends, and colleagues? Doing so will put you on a path of better health. Research proves there are benefits of giving thanks. Recent studies support that the expression of gratitude can have a profound and positive effects on our well-being.
The expression of gratefulness, is not only good for your mind, it is good for your physical well being. Those who express thanks and praise experience an increased boost in energy level and feel a stronger resilience. Experts believe that grateful people are healthier and are associated with reduced blood pressure and stress hormone levels, and a stronger heart.
One becomes more resilient as our brains become wired to seek out the positives when one notices the kindness and gifts from others. You will be healthier and happier, simply by noticing and sharing gratitude with those around you.
Improved relationships are another perk of expressing gratefulness. Expressing gratitude with a positive attitude is just being a nice person that family and friends enjoy spending time with. When one feels appreciated, others are more likely to share appreciation in return. The feel good chemical, dopamine is triggered in the brain, of a benefactor upon receiving gratitude and the back and forth of kind acts continues. Individuals who do not express gratitude with others, become disconnected with life, and suffer the consequences, such as anger, loneliness, sadness or even an unhealthy immune system.
There are millions of reasons to feel grateful. Giving thanks and being thanked, are just as important as giving respect and feeling respected. The idea of expressing gratitude should not be considered as one more self improvement. Being grateful and thankful is an opportunity to reflect and think about family, friends and the many acts of kindness and all that they do for you. All of these admissions and affirmations connect us with our loved ones and those we care about.
Acknowledge all of the reasons for thankfulness, whether big or small on Thanksgiving Day and every day of the year. Time to be a healthier, happier, and nicer person. Share gratitude and you will feel grateful and improve your life. Gratitude feels good. Don’t pass up an opportunity to voice gratitude.