Posted by: Kelley Dees | November 22, 2010

Being Thankful


Being thankful and counting your blessings this Thanksgiving may help you mentally and physically. Recent research shows that it’s healthy to be grateful.

The idea of Thanksgiving itself is that of reaching across the table, of being thankful for the good things that have happened throughout the year, particularly around the harvest time. This idea of thanksgiving also has a very important scientific basis in making us all feel better.

Jeffrey Froh, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Hofstra University has taken on research into the scientific basis of giving thanks.

Froh’s research focuses on being grateful as a continuing behavior and the benefits that accrue by doing that. His research found that those who counted their blessings, essentially focusing on the things they were thankful or grateful for and journaling those things daily, were more optimistic, more satisfied with their lives, and show more overall satisfaction. Froh says: “It’s beyond feeling good, and beyond happiness…we found that grateful kids tend to report less physical complaints; but also in the adult literature…they found that grateful people who counted blessings were more likely to exercise, more likely to report better sleep; less likely to report these physical complaints.”

Now that we see the science behind being thankful and the health benefits we can reap, how do we become more grateful or thankful people? Well, here are some things to get us started:

  • At dinnertime, take a moment to say one thing you are thankful for. Be specific.
  • Remember why you love your spouse, kids, or friends when they are annoying or frustrating you.
  • Don’t compare other people’s lives with yours. When you’re envious, ask yourself,”How can I create more in me of what I see in them?”

  • Give thanks for your body. What can you appreciate about it right now?
  • Look for the hidden blessings in challenges. How have you grown through your experiences?
  • Practice daily. Keep a gratitude journal and share it with a gratitude partner, someone with whom you want to share positive thoughts.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

This information is adapted from Public Radio International and Health.com.

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