Giving thanks makes us happier

What comes to mind when you think about Thanksgiving? Perhaps family, friends, good food and drink, traveling, and football. Or maybe a parade, Charlie Brown, or having a day off from work. In light of all that 2020 has brought us gratitude is at the top of my list.

Did you know that giving thanks and being grateful can actually make you happier? When we express and receive gratitude our brains release dopamine and serotonin; both are “feel good” chemicals that enhance our mood and make us feel happy from the inside out. Being grateful also helps with releasing toxic emotions, pain reduction, enhanced sleep quality, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Here are five ways to cultivate gratitude.

1. Keep a gratitude journal.

2. Start a daily gratitude meditation practice.

3. Write a thank you note to someone expressing your appreciation for them.

4. Pause and notice what you have.

5. Smile and thank someone either in-person, on the phone, or with a thought.

In closing, expressing gratitude is a choice. “It is not happiness that brings us gratitude. It is gratitude that brings us happiness.”

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” – A.A. Milne

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!


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