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“…And in all things, give thanks”

~ the Apostle Paul

All my life I have always been told to be “nice, to give back, to pay it forward and to treat others the way I want to be treated.” When I was young, this didn’t mean that much to me, but as a nurse and a mother, it means the world to me.

Being able to say just two simple words, “thank you,” from the heart can bring happiness, not just to others, but also to ourselves.

In the workforce, it is an expression of appreciation which can boost morale and performance and facilitate better working relationships. In the medical field, hearing a quick “thank you” from a patient you are taking care of makes you want to give back more. As a mother of three beautiful children, instilling good manners and teaching them to be thankful at an early age can pave the road for a lifetime of health, happiness and greater optimism.

As an added bonus, saying “thank you” can also help our body’s immune system by reducing stress. Research has shown that grateful people take better care of themselves and engage in more positive health behaviors like regular exercise, a healthy diet, and regular routine physical examinations.

As we approach Thanksgiving, we are reminded of all the things we are grateful for, like the air in our lungs, the food on our table and the roof over our heads. But being grateful should be practiced on a daily basis, not just once a year during Thanksgiving.

How do you practice gratitude? By being grateful. Focus on three things you are grateful for each day. Being alive, having enough money to buy lunch, having quality “me” time while stuck in traffic, etc. Over time, you will feel better about your life and be more optimistic about your future. Keep a weekly gratitude journal or make a daily calendar out of sticky notes to remind yourself of all the positive things in your life.

Learn to express gratitude and thanks to others. Being able to give and to receive works wonders on your heart, which leads to a happier, healthier, more peaceful life.

Gratitude helps us manage stress. Being able to feel “thankful” can help us cope with our daily problems and reduce stress. Stress is linked to cancer and heart disease and it is one of the top reasons why people go to their primary care physician.

Being grateful leads to being optimistic which leads to a stronger immune system. Research has shown that thinking positive has an effect on the immune system.

If you are facing a tough situation in your life, try and focus on how this situation can be beneficial in the long run.

When dealing with difficult people, improve your understanding and patience by re-analyzing a situation with a better, more positive attitude.

Now that you know how gratitude can make your life better, what are ways in which you’ll express it? Share your thoughts with me below!