The Importance of Being Thankful

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In the hustle and bustle of modern life, we often find ourselves immersed in our own concerns and pursuits and forget to stop and appreciate what we have. Gratitude tends to go unnoticed in a world driven by productivity and competition. However, being able to practice gratitude has a profound impact on our mental and emotional health and our interpersonal relationships.

The Basics of Gratitude

Gratitude, at its core, entails acknowledging and appreciating the good things in our lives. Feeling and expressing gratitude means that we are aware of the blessings and positive experiences we have rather than focusing solely on the negative experiences. Multiple studies have shown that cultivating gratitude can improve emotional wellbeing, reduce stress and anxiety levels, and increase overall satisfaction with life.

Mental and Emotional Health Benefits

  • Less stress. Constantly focusing on what we don’t have or what troubles us can increase our stress levels. Gratitude helps divert our attention to the positive things, which decreases our cortisol levels and help us better handle stressful situations.
  • Improved mood.  Expressing gratitude releases neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which are related to happiness and emotional wellbeing. Appreciating what we have helps us keep a positive outlook and experience more positive emotions in general.
  • Enhanced resilience. Difficulties are inevitable in life, but gratitude can act as an emotional buffer. By focusing on the positive things, we can build greater resilience to overcome adversity.

In addition to the above benefits, gratitude also improves and strengthens our interpersonal relationships.

  • Stronger bonds.  Expressing gratitude towards others strengthens our interpersonal relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Showing appreciation creates a positive environment of mutual support.
  • More empathy. By thanking someone else, we become more mindful of the things they do for us. This practice deepens our empathy for their efforts and makes us more likely to acknowledge and value their presence in our lives.

In short, gratitude is a powerful tool that can transform our perception of life and improve our mental and emotional health and our personal relationships. In a world full of constant distractions and worries, gratitude allows us to cultivate a renewed appreciation for what we have and for those around us. By adopting this practice in our daily lives, we can open ourselves up to a more plentiful and meaningful life. So, don’t wait for Thanksgiving and take a moment to reflect: What can I be thankful for today?

If you need mental or emotional health guidance, contact one of our specialists at Salus; we are here to help you. You can make an appointment online or by calling 787.789.1996.

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