Welcome to November! While many people consider November the month of giving thanks, there are actually health benefits of gratitude year-round. We’re here to explain how being thankful can help improve your life.
Mind And Body
The correlation between gratitude and happiness are closely related. There are many affects of happiness on your body, so we’re going to explain a few.
Just like anger increases blood pressure and heart rate, showing gratitude can make you happier. Studies show that the feeling of happiness and elation increases levels of serotonin and dopamine levels. These are also known as the “happy” and “the feel-good” hormone, respectively. Levels of oxytocin and endorphins increase as happiness increases, as well.
With that being said, the increase in the hormone levels mentioned above can help with the following:
- Reducing aches and pains
- Alleviating loneliness, sadness, or depression
- Increasing motivation
- Building relationships
- Boosting energy levels
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Changing negative mindsets into positive ones
How To Start Being More Grateful
One of the easiest ways to start down the path of being thankful is to start a daily gratitude journal. You can go the old-fashioned (or “vintage” route) by using a notebook or you can choose a digital app, like DayOne or Gratitude Journal.
The experience is simple: every day, write down three good things about the day. They can be incredibly simple, like “enjoyed the perfect cup of coffee this morning.” It could also document a huge life event, such as “Got engaged today!” You don’t have to spend a lot of time on it each day, but when you start writing things down, it helps to put you into perspective.
Easy Ways To Show Gratitude
In a day and age where things are going (sometimes too) digital, it’s important to remember the little things. While you’re documenting things which were special about your days, think about ways you can make someone else’s day better.
These can include:
- Genuinely smiling at someone
- “Paying it forward” in a coffee line
- Sending a handwritten, heartfelt thank-you note instead of a text
- Baking something to share with friends
- Saying “please” and “thank you” more regularly
- Reminding people who are waiting on you that they’re doing a good job (you’d be surprised how little they hear those things)
- Donating your time or money to a charitable cause
As you can see, there are definite health benefits of gratitude. We hope this has given you a reason to smile. Happy November, everyone!