Giving thanks around special occasions is sometimes the only time people might think to do it. However, giving thanks for things people do for you or the positive things in your life doesn’t have to be something that you only do during the holidays. You can find opportunities to give thanks at other times too and the result can be very therapeutic. Giving thanks is a positive action that can help you feel happier and might even lead to a healthier lifestyle and improved relationships. Gratitude is about appreciating what you have. Mindfully practicing thankfulness can help you to avoid the trap of always reaching for something new in the hope that it will make you happy.
Recognizing the Positives in Life
When you want to have a more positive outlook on life, giving thanks more often is an excellent way to do it. Practicing gratitude gives you the opportunity to focus on the good things in your life that you appreciate. You acknowledge the things that make you happy, from simple pleasures to the bigger things in life, such as the people you love and the things that you enjoy doing. You can become more positive by making an effort to cultivate gratitude and give thanks more often.
Increase Your Happiness
Some positive psychology studies about gratitude have shown that giving thanks can make people feel happier. When expressing gratitude, people feel more positive emotions and experience more joy. It can also help them to tackle adversity more easily too. One study at the University of Pennsylvania showed that when participants wrote a letter of thanks to someone who had never been properly thanked for their kindness, there was an increase in happiness scores. Thanking others makes them feel good too, as does generally feeling grateful.
Live a Healthier Lifestyle
Giving thanks could even help you to live a healthier lifestyle. Another study, by Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, showed that people who wrote about the things that they were grateful for began to exercise more and had fewer doctor’s visits compared to people who wrote about their grievances. Being grateful might make you want to take better care of yourself to help you appreciate the world around you, as well as making you more positive.
You could also improve your relationships with people in your life by giving thanks. A study of couples showed that people who expressed gratitude to their partner felt more positive, while their partner felt more able to share their concerns. Giving thanks to your friends, family, coworkers, and others not only helps you to feel more positive but also shows them that they are appreciated. This can help you to forge better relationships and get along with people better.
You could benefit from the therapeutic effects of giving thanks. It doesn’t have to be reserved for just a couple of times each year.