Going around the kitchen table and saying something you’re thankful for is a Thanksgiving tradition many families enjoy, but why wait for turkey day to be thankful? Feeling thankful, or expressing gratitude, for the good things in life is something you can do any day of the year — and it’s even good for you!
Why express gratitude?
Expressing gratitude is about more than just being polite or nice. Expressing gratitude has measurable proven benefits, both socially and physiologically. Gratitude:
Makes you happier. When you take time to acknowledge what you’re grateful for, you reduce your negative emotions and increase positive ones. Feeling positive allows you to better appreciate good experiences.
Leads to stronger relationships. Whether you’re working on a current relationship or a new one, expressing appreciation for the people around you can bring you closer together. Couples who express gratitude for their partners feel more positive towards them. Thanking new acquaintances for their time and their kindness strengthens the bonds of friendship.
Improves your self-esteem. If you’re grateful for the good things in your life, you can appreciate the good things that come to others without feeling jealous. Being able to acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of others is a great way to boost your own self-esteem.
Lets you enjoy better health. Feeling good mentally can translate to feeling good physically. When you’re grateful, you experience fewer aches and pains and generally take better care of your health. Additionally, gratitude can help lower stress, which can reduce oral issues such as teeth grinding, gum disease, jaw clenching and canker sores.
How can I express gratitude?
Expressing gratitude doesn’t have to mean buying expensive gifts. Simple outward acts and inward reflection is enough. You can show the world your gratitude though these simple acts.
Be kind to other people. Let friends, family and even strangers know you appreciate them. Pay compliments, write thank-you notes and perform unprompted acts of kindness.
Keep a gratitude journal. Spend a few minutes at the end of your day to write down the things you’re grateful for. This is a great way to end the day on a happy note, and when you have a rough day, it can help you rest a little easier.
Be thankful for the past, present and future. Show thankfulness for the good times and reminisce with the people you shared them with. Recognize and celebrate good fortune as it happens. Think about the things you can look forward to, even if they might not happen for a while.