With Thanksgiving fast approaching, here are some words of wisdom published on last year’s holiday about how to get in the spirit of gratitude – even if you don’t feel like it:
“Thanksgiving is here again; an entire holiday-cum-food ritual celebrating the importance of gratitude. Yet, through the lens of our everyday struggles — or when the chips are exceptionally down — it can feel like yet another struggle to be grateful when all you really feel is let down.
Interestingly enough, when you’re down, science says gratitude may be exactly what you need to lift you back up. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology, and author of three books, including, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, has authored studies examining the various physical and psychological benefits of its practice.
One such study required random groups of people, some with neuromuscular disease, to list what they were grateful for. Emmons found the gratitude groups to have ‘exhibited heightened well-being,’ suggesting staying focused on the good in life may have long-lasting benefits.
Gratitude can also help you sleep better at night, according to a recent study...That study also confirmed that highly grateful individuals have fewer symptoms of depression. Emmons says grateful thinking can help people to better rebound from stressful events…Yet another study links gratitude with improved heart health.
Gratitude has also proven to boost our sense of connectedness to others. ‘By focusing on the benevolence of others, gratitude helps us feel more connected and nourished by a supportive network of relationships,’ says Emmons.”
Source: “How to be grateful even when you don’t feel like it,” by Vivian Manning-Schaffel, nbcnews.com, November 22, 2017
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