Your mother always reminded you that it was polite to say “please” and “thank you.” However, when we grow up we tend to forget to mind our manners. It’s so easy to get lost in the real purpose behind Thanksgiving with all the consumption of food and 4am store openings. But taking time out of our busy lives to show thanks can prove helpful to our health and well being.
Research has shown that individuals who practice being grateful in their daily lives actually report fewer stress-related health symptoms, including headaches, gastrointestinal (stomach) issues, chest and muscle pains. Got your attention now?
Now, you don’t need to overdo it on the gratitude. Sometimes just doing a small act can mean the world to someone. Here are a few tips on how you can put a little more “thank you” into your lives:
- Practice meditation, yoga, or prayer. Anything that increases focus on the present moment will help increase gratitude. Be thankful for the small things and look for the beauty in everyday life.
- Re-frame your thinking. This may be the most challenging. Try writing “I am grateful” or “thank you” lists for noteworthy events in your life, such as a break up. Create a gratitude list of things you learned about yourself in that relationship rather than focusing on the negative.
- Keep a journal. Before you go to sleep, take a few minutes to write down what you’re thankful for that day or week. This Thursday, you can even be brave and share with everyone at the dinner table. Remember, gratitude is beautiful!
- Do something for someone else. What goes around comes around. Do a good deed, big or small, and you will probably see the good come back to you. Perhaps cook someone’s favorite dish for Thanksgiving rather than focusing on your own cravings.
- Write a Thank You letter. If you’re not good at talking out your feelings then maybe write your appreciation in a handwritten note for someone this holiday.