The holiday season is typically the time when we gather with family and loved ones to catch up and reflect on the year. 2020 has brought many challenges and planning a pandemic holiday celebration brings its own set of unique difficulties.
As we enter the holiday season, check out some of the ways being thankful can have a big impact on your physical and mental health.
Health Benefits of Being Thankful
Various studies have shown the value of gratitude in our lives, from opening new doors to improving relationships. But did you know that it can also improve your health?
1. Physical health- Research has shown that grateful people report feeling healthier and having fewer aches and pains. They are also more likely to exercise, get regular checkups, and generally take care of their health.
2. Psychological health- Being thankful can help reduce frustration, resentment and other toxic emotions. It can decrease depression while increasing happiness, according to some gratitude researchers.
3. Sleep- One study even saw that spending a few minutes writing in a gratitude journal can actually improve your sleep, allowing you to sleep better and longer.
4.Self-esteem- Grateful people are often better able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments, rather than becoming resentful toward them. This helps keep your self-esteem up and improves performance.
5. Mental strength- Being thankful can help you reduce stress and overcome trauma. Being able to recognize what you have to be thankful for, even during difficult or stressful times, makes you more resilient.
How to be More Thankful
With so many potential benefits to your health and wellbeing, you may be ready to cultivate more gratitude in your life. Here are some ideas to help get you started:
1. Write a thank-you note to express your appreciation for someone. OneBlood makes it easy to share thank-you messages to blood donors and share your appreciation for the volunteers who may have helped you or a loved one.
2. Keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself of what you’re thankful for. Whether you write in it daily or weekly, try to be specific about what has you feeling grateful.
3. Meditate or pray with a focus on what you’re thankful for. It can help keep these important things at the front of your mind.
4. Find a partner to help share your attitude of gratitude and help keep you accountable for your new goals.
5. Make a public commitment to be more thankful. Sharing your plan with a group of friends or on Facebook can make it easier to stay on track, and can encourage others to do the same.
6. Set up reminders, whether in your digital calendar or on a sticky note, to keep you counting your blessings on a regular basis.
Be thankful for your good health and share a priceless gift! Give blood at your local donor center or Big Red Bus location and help patients in area hospitals.