4 grateful ways to be happier and healthier

Help boost your well-being with the benefits of thankfulness

Could you really receive more blessings simply by counting ones you already have?

It might sound too good — and easy — to be true. But researchers continue to link practicing gratitude to both mental and physical benefits.*

Here’s what some of the science says: Studies have found that a grateful mindset, and not just at Thanksgiving, can help you experience more positive emotions. This way of thinking may ease stress — and bring you more joy, optimism and enthusiasm.

What’s more, it’s possible that an appreciative attitude might:

  • Improve your sleep
  • Help your heart
  • Boost your immune system

4 ways to get in on the rewards

While some people tend to be naturally appreciative, feeling grateful is something you can cultivate. Here are four simple ways to make giving thanks a year-round habit:

  1. Be on the lookout for bright spots.

    Make it a point to regularly notice and reflect on things — big and small — that make your days better. Someone made you laugh. You ran into an old pal. You finished a task that’s been on your mind.
  2. Start a gratitude journal.

    Jotting down the positives in your life can help build your appreciation muscle.
  3. Share the upside.

    Telling others about happy things in your life can help you get even more pleasure from them. And delight in other people’s good news too. Savoring someone else’s joys or successes can lift your spirits too.
  4. Have family members share grateful moments around the dinner table. If you have children, you’ll be teaching them a valuable practice.
  5. Craft a thoughtful thank you.

    Has someone — say, a teacher or mentor —helped you in a meaningful way? Did you tell them what a difference they made? A special note can be a great way to power up your gratitude.

What to do next

Use a morning mantra to start your day off right. Check out a few options for inspiration, including a couple ideas with gratitude in mind.

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*Sources: American Psychological Association; HelpGuide; Mayo Clinic; Mental Health America