By Kathleen Mineo, PHR
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we want to remind everyone about the power of gratitude.
With the research of psychology and neuroscience, we know gratitude is beneficial for the body and mind as well. Expressing gratitude reduces stress, enhances our immune system and increases the energy that supports attentiveness and enthusiasm.
Rewards of living in gratitude include more optimism and life satisfaction; those who hear others are grateful for them are more successful as well as the person who is showing the gratitude; these appreciative feelings create a cardiac coherence (the beat to beat variability of the heart rate which balances the nervous system); and science is now showing us that “an attitude of gratitude” increases resilience.
There are many hints and “how tos” for living a more grateful life. The video link below is a fun TED talk on happiness and how the practice of gratitude supports “the happiness advantage”.
Tips for being in gratitude:
- Be present in the moment
- Take life giving breaths
- Pause when stressed to see beyond the frantic society to the loving hearts of humanity
- Assume good intentions for yourself and others
- Be in nature
- Help a friend or stranger
- Keep a gratitude journal thus looking for all there is to be grateful for
- Practice the simple gesture of saying “please” and “thank you”
- Make eye contact with those you converse with
- Smile and appreciate the little things
What are some of your gratitude practices?
With Thanksgiving being the “front door” to the holidays, we are grateful for you, our friends, our family and our readers. May this holiday season bring new eyes to see the beauty all around. May your mind, body and spirit be bathed and blessed by the giving of thanks.
Our gratitude to the research of Christiane Northrup, M.D.; Robert Emmons, PhD; The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley; Shawn Achor, PhD.
Enjoy the following Ted talk about gratitude by Shawn Anchor.