Art of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a reminder to us all to thank the people in our lives who matter most to us. It’s a good reminder because it can be so easy to get caught up in negative emotions, worries about money or the future, or everyday stressors. We can get so consumed by these thoughts that sometimes we forget to be grateful and to act on that gratitude, but it’s important to be able to focus on those things you’re grateful for—not just for the sake of others, but also because practicing the art of gratitude can make you happier and healthier. Gratitude is a powerful emotion; it allows us to appreciate what we have instead of constantly hoping for something else. Practicing gratitude helps us to feel more positive emotions, appreciate the good in our lives, and build relationships. By recognizing, appreciating, and connecting with others, we can even become happier. In fact, studies have shown a strong correlation between gratitude and happiness. Not only does gratitude make our hearts happy, but it can make them healthy, too! Studies have found that emotions such as appreciation produce healthy heart rhythms that indicate cardiovascular efficiency and balance. But it’s not enough just to feel grateful for a few seconds when something good happens. Focus your attention on your gratitude for at least 30 seconds, acknowledging the feeling, in order to truly reap the benefits of the emotion. How can you practice the art of gratitude this month? There are a few ways to spread the goodness! Write someone a thank-you letter, keep a gratitude journal, and compliment others on a job well done. If you do, you’ll not only brighten someone else’s day, but you’ll be leaving a positive impact on your own life as well!