As Thanksgiving inches near and November speeds forward through the end of the year, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to take a step back to look at all you’ve accomplished this year. During National Gratitude Month, take the opportunity to practice gratefulness for all that you have. There are many benefits to gratitude – physical and mental – that may surprise you.

  1. Increase your patience: A research study showed people who felt grateful for little, everyday things were more patient and able to make more sensible decisions, especially regarding finances and money.
  2. Improves self-care: Researchers found positive correlations between people with higher levels of gratitude and a higher appreciation for their mind and body.
  3. More restful sleep: Thinking about what you are most grateful for before going to sleep can help you sleep better and longer, something we all need to remain functioning human beings.
  4. Benefits relationships: It may seem like a no-brainer, but feeling grateful toward your partner – and vice versa – can improve your relationship, especially feelings of connectedness and overall satisfaction as a couple.
  5. Ease depression: According to various experiments, people who partake in the “three good things” exercise over several weeks or even months see considerable improvements in depression and overall happiness.

Gratitude has a significant impact on your overall outlook on life, which can boost your successes and provide a greater sense of satisfaction. Looking for other ways to practice gratitude? Here are a few:

  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Identify one negative thing in your life and find a way to make it a positive
  • Give a compliment to a friend, a stranger, or yourself
  • Vow to not complain or criticize for a week
  • Donate money, time, or talent to a cause that’s important to you

To share your gratefulness with your community, check out the Your Neighborhood tab on Empowering Michigan for local happenings.

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