November, the month of our Thanksgiving traditions, is National Month of Gratitude, a time to recognize the good things in our lives and give thanks.
Those who practice graciousness — giving thanks for good things in our lives, both big and small — are well aware of its mental health benefits. Gratitude improves our outlook and perspective and helps us move past obstacles in a healthy way. But did you know it also improves our physical health?
The Mayo Clinic reports that expressing gratitude not only improves our mood, but also our physical health. It has been found to improve sleep and immunity, both of which bolster our overall health.
Behavior changes biology. When we do or say something positive, it releases the “love hormone” oxytocin, which helps us connect with people.
Some tips to enhance your “gratitude attitude” include:
- Try starting your day by thinking of someone you are grateful for as soon as you wake up
- Keep a gratitude journal. This is a good exercise right before bed. It can be as simple as seeing a rainbow or feeling well that day.
There is a lot to be grateful for, even when we have stressful days or bad things happen to us. The key is to notice them.