November is a time when most of us think about fun stuff like playing in the leaves, cozy clothes and the upcoming holiday season. The Thanksgiving holiday, in particular, brings to mind eating lots of yummy treats or spending time with family. But have you ever stopped to think about what Thanksgiving really means?
Giving thanks can have many benefits for your psychological health. And guess what? You can “give thanks” all year round! Newsweek published an article (citing Harvard Medical School) on the benefits of gratitude. Benefits included improved sleep, increased self-esteem, more hope for the future and increased resiliency! Personally, I try to write a gratitude list a few times a week. Why? Because it helps me to pay attention to the positive things in my life, rather than focusing—as most of us do—on everything going wrong. My gratitude list might include things as basic as having heat in my house or being able to practice yoga. One simple way to incorporate gratitude into your life could be writing down 5 things that you are grateful for each day. Hitting the pause button on your day and writing a gratitude list can be a great way to step back and see the bigger picture.
This does not have to be an elaborate exercise. Try it out and let me know how it goes!
For further reading on the benefits of gratitude check out these articles.