November is a special month. For one month in the year, people are encouraged and inspired to be thankful for what they have in their lives, whether it be friends, family, good health, material possessions, or something else. Possibly the most unfortunate thing is that it is only in November that we see people thinking and talking about being thankful. Studies have shown that regularly practicing being grateful can actually have positive health benefits. Psychology professor Robert Emmons, who teaches at the University of California at Davis, has spent years researching the field that he calls “positive psychology”, and he’s found that “those who adopt an attitude of gratitude as a permanent state of mind experience many health benefits”.
Some of these health benefits include:
1) Improved mental alertness
2) Ability to cope better with stress and daily challenges
3) Stronger immune systems
4) Less problematic physical symptoms
5) Having a happier and more optimistic mindset
Those who are grateful also tend to exercise more, eat a healthier diet, and take better care of themselves both in a physical and mental state. So often we look for outside ways to improve our health when really, the key can be something as simple as adopting a grateful mindset about our lives and the people around us.
So this November, we encourage you to take being thankful past Thanksgiving, to carry it through Christmas, New Year’s, and into the following season. It’s such a small step to take to increase your health, and it’s something everybody should strive to do.