All month long I will be participating in a Thankfulness November; a month of appreciation for all the good things in my life without focusing on the things I want to change. There are many benefits to practicing appreciation every day. Soon I will be sharing ideas and inspiration for your own month of thankfulness, and I hope you will decide to join me.
No matter where you are in your life and what struggles you are facing, there is always something to be grateful for. It can be a person, a place, a feeling, a pet, a home, a gift, a modern day convenience like running water or electricity, or an experience. Sometimes feeling thankful can feel difficult or nearly impossible when you or someone you love is struggling in some way; from grief, illness, money difficulties, or something else. If you’re feeling stressed, sad, or exhausted, expressing thankfulness may be the cure, or at least aid in the healing process. If everything in your life is wonderful, then there is all the more reason to be thankful. For now, I wanted to share five simple reasons why you need a thankfulness November in your life right now.
- The act of appreciation and thinking of the things, people, events, and places we are thankful for in our lives makes us happier. According to positive psychologists like Dr. Rick Hanson, thinking of three things we are thankful for every single day changes the neuropathways in our brains to become more appreciative and happy with our lives.
- When we are thankful, not only are we happier, we become less stressed. The holidays can become a busy and stressful time of year. Add world events, politics, and other stress factors to the mix, life can become overwhelming. Take some of that stress away.
- When we are thankful for what we already have, we spend less money on things that we don’t actually need. It becomes easier for us to distinguish between wants and needs. Not only will you save money on unnecessary purchases, you will also save the time you spent driving to stores, shopping, and browsing online.
- When we are thankful and our minds become healthier places, our bodies follow. Less stress combined with thankfulness may encourage you to eat healthier, be more active, and help your sleep quality improve.
- When we are thankful for the good things in our own lives, we feel more inspired to give to those who have less or are struggling in their lives. Altruism also has the added benefit of also improving our own happiness. Studies have shown that when people help others or give their time, services, or money to a good cause, it actually changes their brain chemistry. Not only do they experience happiness from their giving, they also become more compassionate to themselves, their families, and complete strangers. Compassion and empathy is a skill that can be taught and improved through human acts of kindness.
I hope that you decide to join me for a month of Thankfulness this November.
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