Can we all agree that 2020 has kicked our collective rear-end?
Not only did it bring us a pandemic, but it doled out all the unwanted sides to go along with it — stress, anxiety, fear, and worry. And as our holiday season is now upon us, we have found that we have to, once again, adapt things to make this season bright.
Of course, it is the season of giving thanks. But sometimes, it’s not easy to be thankful when your world has been turned upside down. Sometimes we have to choose to be grateful for something, anything when we’re struggling to see the bright side of things.
It’s one of the most powerful human emotions. In its most basic form, gratitude is a “state of thankfulness” or “state of being grateful.” At its fullness, it can improve your health and change your life.
Over the last few decades, positive psychology and mental health researchers have found an undeniable link between gratitude and good health. Gratitude is correlated to more vitality, energy, and enthusiasm to work harder.
Study after study has shown that gratefulness leads to a happier life. It improves the quality of life. Gratitude has been shown not only to light up the faces of those around you, but it lights up your brain as well. It’s not just a psychological thing either. Although psychologically speaking, gratefulness gives us higher levels of positive emotions, joy, pleasure, optimism, and happiness. It has physical implications as well, such as a more robust immune system, lower blood pressure, fewer body aches and pains, and better, longer, more restful sleep.
Being thankful changes the brain’s neural structures and makes us feel happier and more content. Feeling grateful and appreciating others when they do something good triggers the ‘good’ hormones and regulates the effective functioning of the immune system. Researchers have suggested that by activating the brain’s reward center, gratitude alters the way we see the world and ourselves.
We want to take this as an opportunity to tell you how we see YOU. We know the world seems like it has gone topsy turvy. We can feel it and see it too, and it is our pleasure to have you by our side as we navigate it together. Your questions, conversations, challenges, and friendship over the years are what has kept us going. Your support is felt. You’re not just listening or reading somewhere “out there.” We want you to know that we’re here alongside you to help you in any way we can. We will never be able to express to you how thankful we are that you’re here.
Right now, we can take a look at our lives and take stock of what we have to be thankful for. If the list is short, that’s ok; we can start with a few things. The more we look around, the more our lists will grow. Even though this holiday season may look different, we can still cultivate an atmosphere of joy and gratitude. We can light up our brains AND the world around us simply by being thankful.