'Tis the season to be thankful.
Your body will thank you.
The dictionary defines "Thankful" as:
- feeling or expressing gratitude; appreciative.
Don't just wait until Thanksgiving though! People that express gratitude regularly and focus on the positive are more present. They tend to cope with stress in a better way. They are just plain happier.
A 2011 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that older people who reported being the least happy died at nearly twice the rate in the next five years as people who reported being the most happy. Even after adjusting for factors like illness, finances and depression, people who were the happiest still had a 35% lower risk of death.
So give it a shot, what do you have to lose other than that frown?
Here are some ways to express gratitude:
- Try the gratitude journal method
- Generously pass out compliments
- Have a smile-only day and smile to at least 10 strangers
- Make eye contact with everyone (while smiling!)
- Write someone a hand-written thank-you note
- 24-hour complaint hiatus (no complaining at all!)
- Give your neighbor some flowers or a meal out of the blue
- Perform a random act of kindness each month, or better, each week
- Pay for the person's drink in the car behind you
Now is the best time of all to try this! Holidays bring depression, busy schedules and the stress that comes with it.