“It’s not joy that makes us grateful, its gratitude that brings us joy.”
This Thanksgiving, we celebrate the benefits of gratitude in our lives and are mindful of the positive impact gratefulness has on our physical and mental health. The idea that giving thanks all year long can make you happier is actually true and based on the science of recent studies in the field of mental health. When we focus on what we are grateful for, we help our brain produce feel-good chemicals like serotonin and endorphins. These chemicals help us stay focused, sleep well, and be generally nice people — making it easier to build friendships and connect with others. There is a wide range of positive effects of gratitude that impact you physically, psychologically, and socially.
Physical benefits of expressing gratitude may include:
- Better sleep quality
- Reduced blood pressure
- A stronger immune system
- Increased interest in taking care of your health
Psychological benefits of expressing gratitude may include:
- Feeling more positive emotions as a replacement for negative emotions
- Lower stress levels
- Greater sense of joy
- Ability to relish good experiences
Social benefits of expressing gratitude may include:
- Greater sense of compassion and generosity
- Building more positive relationships
- Desire to spend more time with friends and family
- Better ability to deal with adversity
There are many ways to cultivate and express gratitude towards others in your everyday life, not just during the holidays. These include:
- Keeping a gratitude journal which includes writing down at least three things or people you are grateful for each day.
- Saying Grace or providing general thanks before a meal with family or friends.
- Writing thank you notes.
- Meditation and prayer.
- Giving back to those around you.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude today and to encourage this practice today and throughout the year, as we have much to be grateful for!
“I am incredibly grateful for my family, friends, and colleagues who have supported me through several changes over this last year including obtaining my Psy.D. and the continued wedding planning!” ~Alyssa
“I am thankful for my health and grateful to be able to spend time with friends and family this holiday season. I am also thankful for laughter and its ability to be a balm for our souls during challenging times.” ~Linnea
“I am grateful for my family, friends, incredible colleagues at PNC, health, and ability to cook for my family this Thanksgiving! My favorite things to make include pumpkin and pecan pie, recipes from my grandmother and mother. I always feel happy seeing the well-loved recipe index card and my grandmother’s elegant handwriting, reminding me of the legacy of family and traditions.” ~Laura
“I am so grateful for the health of my family this year and for the opportunity we have to celebrate in person around the Thanksgiving table! I am also grateful for being able to come to work each day and be surrounded by kind, supportive, and encouraging colleagues.” ~ Gianna
“I can certainly say that I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and work with such knowledgeable and generous colleagues as well as the loving support I have received from friends and family over the past year.” ~Matt
More articles on the benefits of gratitude:
The Connection Between Gratitude and Mental Health
6 Mental Health Benefits of Gratitude
How Gratitude Changes Your Brain
The Impact of Gratitude on your Mental Health and Wellbeing
Brene Brown on Joy and Gratitude
Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier
Three Ways to Practice Gratitude