Ahh, November. Your cool winds bring the beginning of “the most wonderful time of the year.” You bring hope of future festivities, cozy fires, and the first dusting of snow. But for some, this time of year can be marked with anxiety, depression, and a reminder of loss. The blessing of November lies in the classic American holiday of Thanksgiving that calls us to express gratitude.
Gratitude, from the Latin word, gratia, means grace or gratefulness. Acknowledging gratefulness helps us to see goodness in our lives and in the lives of other; helping us to refocus on what we have, rather than on what we lack. More than that, people who regularly express gratitude have better health.
Improved Sleep – Studies find that those who regularly express gratitude via a gratitude journal, report being able to fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and have better sleep quality.
Healthier Hearts- Regular expression of gratitude is associated with decreased blood pressure and a decrease in inflammatory biomarkers related to cardiac health. One study showed that gratefulness quickens healing after heart attacks.
Happiness- There are several studies that associate gratefulness with increased happiness and improved relationships. Although the practice of gratefulness through journaling or intentionally finding things to be grateful about may feel contrived, this mental state grows stronger with practice.
Practice gratitude all year.
- Write a thank you note to someone to let them know you appreciate them. Write a thank you note to yourself. Time crunch? Write a mental thank you note about someone who has done something nice.
- Keep a gratitude journal- Make a regular habit to write down the gifts that life gave you each day.
- Practice three-a-day – Three times a day count your blessings – and be specific.
- Practice mindful meditation – Be present in the moment. Feel the wind. Feel the sun. Hear the laughter of children. Find peace.
The University of Minnesota - Crookston provides high quality education through online and on campus courses. Our Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Management, a fully online course, prepares healthcare leaders who are both new to healthcare and working professionals looking to advance in their profession. For more information contact the Office of Admissions at 218-281-8569 or https://www.crk.umn.edu/units/admissions.
Allen, S. (2018, March 5). Is Gratitude Good for Your Health? Retrieved November 12, 2019, from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/is_gratitude_good_for_your_health.
Harvard Health Publishing. (n.d.). Giving thanks can make you happier. Retrieved November 12, 2019, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier.
About UMN Crookston
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