With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we are encouraged to get into that once-a-year gratitude frame of mind. But according to scientists, counting your blessings every single day, all year long, can be great for your mental health and well-being, ultimately boosting your daily happiness and success in work and relationships.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is defined as the appreciation of things that are valuable or meaningful to you, according to Harvard Medical School.
Right now, think about the many conveniences at your fingertips. You have a phone or computer on which you stay connected to the people and things you love (PS-we’re really happy to be on that list!), electricity to power it with, and people on other devices with whom you communicate easily.
Look down, are you wearing shoes? Shoes are awesome! Have you had a bath in the last day? Baths are among our very favorite things! Have you had a really great sandwich in the recent past? Sandwiches are aaaaaaamazing.
Today, when the evening sky blazes pink and lavender with shots of orange light, look up and have a minute of gratitude for the connection you have with every other human living and breathing beneath that same beautiful sky. And speaking of breathing, in the minute that you’ve spent reading this, you, and all of the rest of us, have taken 15-20 breaths. Breathing is the best.
No doubt, we’ve all been in the ditch. And yes, sometimes life is really hard. And maybe it's hard right now...
Even on our hardest days, we are empowered with the ability to look for and believe in goodness. Sometimes switching our perspectives to one of appreciating the perfection of that sky, and the less-than-perfect charm of a reliable pair of well-worn shoes, is enough to open our hearts just enough to let in the healing light of gratitude.