Gratitude definition

Well known as the season for giving thanks, the entire month of November is National Gratitude Month. More than just Thanksgiving, all of November is devoted to “giving thanks” to someone in your life. Gratitude Month inspires a shifting of our focus from negative to positive and intentionally showing appreciation for the people in our lives.

Practicing gratitude has been proven to have a positive impact on a person’s well-being. People that practice gratitude on a daily basis tend to have fewer feelings of isolation and loneliness, a stronger immune system, better sleep, lowered blood pressure, reduced anxiety and depression, reduction in body aches and pains, more forgiveness, and increased satisfaction in life. All this evidence goes to say that a slight change in our attitude can positively affect us in many ways. Turn gratitude into a habit and create a positive mindset.

While showing your appreciation may only take a few seconds, the effects can last much longer! There are many simple ways that you can practice gratitude and here are just a few ideas:

  1. Tell someone how much you appreciate them
  2. Smile and laugh more often
  3. Give out compliments
  4. Be gracious and patient when challenged
  5. Handwrite letters of encouragement
  6. Share your talents with other
  7. Perform random acts of kindness
  8. Start a gratitude journal or list, writing down a few small (or big!) things that you are thankful for each day

The list could go on and on, but you get the idea!

Residents enjoying some crafting time Why limit sharing gratitude just on Thanksgiving? Why only show appreciation during the whole month of November and beyond? Continue to give thanks throughout the year and see how the practice of gratitude can positively change your outlook. Share it and show it each day and reap many rewards while uplifting others.

Blog written by Debi Kopman, Life Enrichment Director for Sonoma Hills Retirement