The simplest way to form a positive connection with the people and things around you is to ignite a sense of gratitude. When trouble is bringing you down, you have lost your sense of connection, and life seems to not be flowing in your favor reverse the current by getting into a state of gratitude for all the blessings that are surrounding you.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
The month of November hosts the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. This is my favorite holiday. It is a time to gather with family and friends over great food and drinks and be grateful for all that is. Thanksgiving is intended to be a very social holiday.
Gratitude and the Thanksgiving holiday go hand in hand. Thanksgiving is a very social event and gratitude is a social emotion. Gratitude requires us to see how we’ve been supported by other people. When we express gratitude we acknowledge the flow of good into our lives. As we acknowledge the flow of good we figure out where that good comes from and who we owe our thanks. Thanksgiving is a holiday that reminds is to take a well-deserved break and connect with those who support us in this life.
Gratitude is a very powerful emotion. Scientists have proven that gratitude heals, energizes and changes lives.
Gratitude heals as it helps us cope with trauma. Those who live with a grateful heart experience the following physical benefits of gratitude:
- Stronger immune system
- Less bothered by aches and pains
- Lower blood pressure
- Exercise more & take better care of health
- Sleep longer & feel more refreshed upon waking
Gratitude energizes as it increases our self-worth and self-esteem. Those who live with more gratitude are more beneficially connected to others and experience the following social advantages:
- More helpful, generous and compassionate
- More giving
- More outgoing
- More forgiving
- Feel less lonely and isolated
Gratitude changes lives as it helps dissolve negative feelings and emotions. The psychological benefits of gratitude include:
- Higher levels of positive emotions
- More alert, alive and awake
- More joy and pleasure
- More optimism & happiness
The research all points to the fact that the experiences of gratitude make us happy. With regular practice we elevate out typical level of happiness in a sustainable way. So this month on the 100 Smile Challenge blog we will celebrate Thanksgiving every day and ignite the spirit of Thanksgiving in our daily lives. We will explore the research, beliefs, and practices of gratitude to Ignite More Smiles in Our Lives.
Today’s Simple Smile Igniter is to review the lists of the physical, social and psychological benefits of gratitude and identify which ones you would like more of in your life. I know who would not more of all of them, but identify those that would make a grand impact on you. For me I would like to be more alert, alive and awake by the end of this one month exploration into Gratitude’s Ability to Unlock the Fullness of Life. How about you?
Read more of the posts on Gratitude by following these links: