For millennia, people have been searching for answers to what makes a life well-lived. While it may seem like a Hallmark theme card, research is pointing to gratitude as a key ingredient to happiness. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, now can be a great time to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Simply put, gratitude is the recognition that there are good things in our lives, and the source of this goodness is outside of ourselves. We acknowledge that other people, or things, have given us something that contributes to our happiness.
Gratitude has been shown to positively benefit our individual physical health and mental health in the following ways:
- Improvements in heart rate variability, blood sugar control, blood pressure
- Stronger immune systems
- Better sleep quality and quantity
- More willingness to engage in exercise and other healthy activities
- More willingness to seek help for concerns
- Better reported physical health
- Higher levels of positive emotions- ex. happiness, pleasure
- More optimism
- Lower levels of stress, depression, anxiety
- Less likely to experience burnout
- Increased life satisfaction
The secret to gratitude, however, is that it moves beyond individual benefit and has been proven to be a “social glue” benefiting ourselves and those around us.
- Inspires people to be more generous, kind, and helpful
- Helps build and maintain relationships
- May help improve workplace climate
As we enter this holiday season, make it a point to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Not only will you feel happier, it will benefit your relationships and those around you.
*If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, request an appointment with one of our professional mental health providers at Diversus Health today. If you need immediate assistance, call our crisis hotline at 844-493-8255, or text ‘TALK’ to 38255.