Research suggests that being grateful and gracious can increase your sense of well-being.
Thanksgiving Day has passed. However gratitude should become your year-round attitude.
In a number of experiments, participants were invited to journal or reflect on either negative experiences or on things for which they were grateful. Afterwards it was determined that those who had written or reflected on their gratitude more strongly exhibited those personality qualities that related to well-being. While this field of study is still relatively new, it does seem to indicate that people who are grateful are also happier.
Gratitude can be defined as an appreciation for what is most valued by a person. Perhaps we can adopt a few habits to enhance our level of gratitude and well-being.
- Journal about things for which you are grateful
- Start, or begin again, to write thank you notes – not just for gifts received, but also for people who have made a difference in your life
- Try to make your saying of “thank you” truly sincere and meaningful
- Just think, once a day or once a week, about all of the things you are grateful for
Next Tuesday, November 27th, is the global observance of #GivingTuesday. What better way to practice gratitude than by helping others with the gift of your time, resources and talents. Make a difference in your community. It just might help you feel better too.
Victoria Assumma is an oncology social worker at White Plains Hospital Center for Cancer Care. She has more than 30 years of experience working helping patients and clients acquire coping skills for managing stress. She also practices and discusses gratefulness and positivity with her clients.