Healthy Habits

Giving Thanks Leads to Happiness

notebook with I am grateful written at top

Humans are programmed to search for happiness – the perfect job, financial stability, a loving family, a healthy body and mind, and a great social life! In this constant pursuit of happiness, how often do we stop and recognize what we already have? Try stepping away from the “I’ll be happy when…” mentality and identify the goodness of life to amplify happiness in any situation.

The Long-lasting Benefits of Being Grateful

Gratitude has long-lasting benefits, including better quality sleep, improved self-esteem, increased happiness, enhanced willpower, and a boosted immune system. Gratitude also amplifies the good we see in ourselves and connects us with others. It allows us to celebrate the present and blocks negative emotions, such as envy or resentment. The practice of gratitude helps strengthen relationships because it requires people to recognize how they are supported and where that support comes from.

Individuals who are grateful can appreciate what they have and are less likely to fixate on the never-ending task of obtaining more. They think more positively and are more giving. Gratitude in the workplace leads to more effective managers, helps individuals find more meaning in work, and improves work-related mental health.

While a grateful state of mind is readily accessible to everyone, it can be fleeting and difficult to maintain. It takes practice to train the mind to acknowledge the good in all situations. This doesn’t mean we are supposed to ignore the struggles or burdens of everyday life, but rather look at life as a whole and recognize there is always some amount of goodness or wisdom to be gained, even in hardship.

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks, celebrate with loved ones, and gather for a delicious meal. Don’t take for granted the opportunity to be together – be sure to express gratitude to friends and family members. Be specific in what you share with them to help build stronger, more meaningful relationships.

Consider taking time to celebrate minor accomplishments, perform small acts of kindness, and appreciate the small things. Improve your attitude of gratitude by following these tips.

Write a Thank You Note

Thanking someone, especially in old-fashioned written form, is a meaningful way to express gratitude; not to mention it is a fool-proof way to brighten someone’s day.

Clean the Community

Show gratitude for the community by taking the initiative to clean up litter. Take responsibility and clean up as an act of caring for the community.

Visit a Neighbor

Bring a housewarming gift to a new neighbor. Share positive thoughts of the neighborhood and create a new friendship.


Smile at people in passing. Smiling at someone is a simple way to show others you are grateful for the small things and can be contagious. Spread kindness by smiling at strangers, coworkers, or friends.

Help Those in Need

When someone is struggling or needing help, jump in and offer assistance. It can mean the world to receive an act of service in a time of need.

Create a Gratitude List

It may seem impossible to be happy until a goal is met or an item is purchased. To help alter this mindset, write down three things you are grateful for that money can’t buy.

Give a Compliment

A simple compliment can make someone’s day and boost their confidence. Pay a sincere compliment to someone, whether it be a stranger, coworker, friend, or family member.


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