Exercising gratitude

Its that time of year where we in the US start focusing on being thankful in preparation for Thanksgiving. I see many people post their daily November updates on something for which they are grateful and as a walk-and-talk therapist here in Georgia I am thankful for the cooler temperatures and the colors of the changing leaves. Claiming something daily for which we are thankful during the month of November is a wonderful practice; however, gratitude is something on which we should not just save focus for a single month a year.

Why, you ask? Because exercising gratitude has multiple health benefits! Yes! According to Harvard Health it can help improve mood including improving overall happiness and reducing depression. It can also help individuals overcome adversity, as well as helping improve physical health.

One recommendation I frequently give my clients is creating a gratitude journal where they record items from their daily lives for which they are grateful, or at the very least start and end each day being mindful of a few things for which they are thankful. Sometimes, in the midst of their current circumstances this can be difficult. And sometimes it requires some creativity to reframe their circumstances to find some positive. This is one of the beauties of exercising gratitude. It helps us create new neural pathways to notice the positive rather than settle on our automatic negative bias.

So in this season of thanks keep on documenting the things for which you’re thankful…and maybe try to carry that forward into the New Year!!!

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