Thanksgiving is here! It's time to sit back and take note of things you’re grateful for (also, to gobble down that scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner and watch football, duh!). While it might feel like a natural impulse to be kind and thankful during the official season of gratitude. What about after the leftovers have been put away and the warm and fuzzy holiday feeling dissipates?
Germany Kent has rightly said, “Any day above ground is a good day. Before you complain about anything, be thankful for your life and the things that are still going well.” Genuinely grateful people know that practicing gratitude is not just a seasonal ritual but a way of life.
While we all know that gratitude is good for the soul, turns out, this positive trait has some compelling health benefits too. According to a research conducted by the University of California, San Diego, grateful people have better heart health. Other studies also suggest that cultivating gratitude boosts immunity system, reduces stress and helps you get more shuteye.
Now, are you ready to jump on the gratitude bandwagon? Great! Here are five habits of grateful people that you can learn to achieve greater happiness and better health:
- They appreciate the little things in life. Imagine all the small things you overlook because you’re caught up in the daily grind. The soothing sight of season’s first snowfall, a delightful birdsong in spring or the pleasant, earthy scent the raindrops bring as they hit the parched ground. Grateful people take their time to stop and savor all these little joys of life.
- They keep a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is a diary where you jot down all the things you are grateful for each day. Reflecting on things you’re thankful for and writing them down reinforces positive thoughts. This, in turn, promotes optimism and happiness. What’s more, Oprah Winfrey swears by this daily habit!
- They volunteer. Grateful people are committed to giving back to their community. They know that sharing what you have with those in need is the purest expression of gratitude. Other than being spiritually uplifting, helping others has several health benefits too. Multiple studies have shown that volunteering promotes longevity, reduces stress and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and depression, among other things.
- They appreciate their loved ones. William Arthur Ward wrote, “ Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it .” Thankful people know that expressing gratitude enriches relationships and promotes happiness. They make it a point to express their love and appreciation for the people that matter to them. Whether it’s by cooking a fancy meal for them, sending them flowers or by simply giving them a tight hug or a sincere compliment.
- They acknowledge that life is not a bed of roses. “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses,” said French novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr. Gratitude isn’t just about counting your blessings when life’s running smoothly. It’s about appreciating the things you have even in times of adversity. Grateful people know that difficulties are inevitable. Whether it’s a career setback, financial crisis or a heartbreak, they choose to look at the bright side and appreciate the valuable lessons they learn through challenging times.
English writer G.K. Chesterton said, “When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude .” Every time you hit a rough patch and find yourself overwhelmed by disappointment or despair, just take a moment and think about all the things you are thankful for. Like most good habits, cultivating gratitude requires oodles of patience and constant effort. But once you get there, life will be infinitely better!