Giving thanks is good for your health!
Thanksgiving is that special time when people are busy preparing meals and planning to see family and friends. But it's really about being thankful. When was the last time you stopped to really acknowledge the things you’re thankful for? There’s a whole host of reasons why we should make gratitude a daily practice and not something we do just on Thanksgiving. Research has shown that being thankful causes a whole host of health benefits, from improved immune systems, to feelings of connectedness, even higher morale.
Here are some of the biggest health benefits — both physical and mental — of gratitude:
It’s good for kids’ mental health.
Grateful kids are happier! Research has shown that teens who are grateful are more well-behaved at school and more hopeful than their less-grateful peers!
It boosts well-being.
Being constantly mindful of all the things you have to be thankful for can boost your well-being. Daily exercise practices and listing off all the things you are thankful for are linked with a brighter outlook on life and a greater sense of positivity.
It’s been linked with better grades.
Grateful students get better grades and enjoy better social integration and satisfaction with life, compared with their not-grateful counterparts. Researchers have also found that grateful teens are less depressed or envious.
It makes you a better friend to others.
Gratitude has been proven to boost pro-social behaviors, such as helping other people who have problems or lending emotional support to another person.
It helps you sleep better.
Writing down what you’re thankful for as you drift off to sleep can help you get better ZZs! Specifically, researchers have found that when people spent 15 minutes jotting down what they’re grateful for in a journal before bedtime, they fell asleep faster and stayed asleep longer.
It can strengthen your relationship.
Being thankful for the little things your friends and family do makes your relationships stronger. Journaling about the thoughtful things your friends and family did has been linked with a beneficial outcome on the relationship.
It’s been linked with a better immune system.
Gratefulness is linked with optimism, which in turn is linked with better immune health. Stressed-out students who are optimistic have more immune-boosting blood cells than people who are pessimistic!
This Thanksgiving, take time to really give thanks for everything you have...and feel great!