Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it.
- Ralph Marston
Everyone struggles to stay thankful. It does not always come naturally. It’s much easier to think about all the things we don’t have and dwell on negativity - especially during difficult times.
But, there is a solution: gratitude. Being grateful benefits both physical and mental health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than others, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading researcher in a field termed “positive psychology,” has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
Today is the official day of thanks, so there’s no better time to reveal some simple ways we can practice gratitude and having a positive mindset.
Be thankful - not just today, but every day!
Have Healthy Thought Processes
Grateful individuals can separate perceptions from facts and separate rational from irrational ways of thinking. For example, rather than saying, “He makes me so mad,” they would replace it by saying, “I was upset when he acted that way.”
Although our futures are uncertain, grateful people strive to never lose hope and always make an effort to see the silver lining. Rather than sweating the small stuff and dwelling on the negatives, they have peace knowing that even though the sun sets, it will rise again the next day. And, they let life take its course.
Learn to Forgive
They humble themselves and let go of grudges, and forgive others for not acting or being as they had hoped. When someone asks for forgiveness, they forgive. Even if someone doesn’t ask, grateful individuals forgive the person within themselves so they can move on and be at peace.
Let it Go
Good things do not always happen to good people. Life is messy, and common sense doesn’t always play out. Bad things happen to good people, and good things can happen to bad people. But, it is the grateful people who have given up the idea that life “owes them” anything. They understand life is unfair and has unfortunate consequences, but it is how they move on from these things that sets them apart.
Focus on Blessings
They recognize and appreciate their blessings. We can’t be grateful without being mindful of life’s many benefits and the rich blessings we have been given. There is no “Oh, woe is me” mentality here.
Try It: Try making your own gratitude list! Take some time to jot down some things you are grateful for (these could be long-term or everyday things), and spend some time reflecting. Click here to download a copy of our gratitude list!
A positive self-esteem is another sign of a grateful person. People who are stuck in past regrets and only focus on their faults are unable to be truly grateful.
Respect Themselves and Those Around Them
They take the time to focus on themselves by using positive self-talk and act this way around others. They show respect to others because they treat them how they would like to be treated.
Live With Purpose
Another sign of grateful individuals is they live with purpose. Living with purpose allows us to make the most of our time on earth and bring meaning to our lives - whether this means acting a certain way or doing something for somebody else. Those who live with purpose find meaning in life’s mundane activities and make an effort to press forward and enter relationships that have lasting, meaningful value.
YOR on our Gratitude List! Everyone at YOR Health would like to take a moment to say how thankful we are for you, and we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
What are you thankful for?