Better Together

Thanksfulness Has a Purpose

Thanksgiving is all about heartwarming gatherings and counting one’s blessings while enjoying a delicious family meal. It’s a holiday that’s filled with warmth and gratitude and an essential tradition for many Americans. 

It turns out that all of that thankfulness and appreciation shared on Thanksgiving has a real purpose. Harvard Health Publishing recently cited research that shows that gratitude is strongly correlated with happiness. Psychologists have conducted experiments that show that people who regularly expressed gratitude over a 10-week period came away more optimistic and felt more positively about their lives. They also exercised more frequently and had fewer visits to physicians. 

The Harvard article goes on to offer several tips for making gratitude a regular habit. The act of writing can foster appreciation through thank-you notes and a gratitude journal. Meditation and prayer can be opportunities to cultivate gratitude while focusing on a serene moment of the day. 

There are formal means to express gratitude as well. Almost every day of the year offers an occasion to be thankful for someone—or something—in your life. Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day are two of the most well-known dates, but there are also National Nurses Day each May, National Thank a Police Officer Day in September, and of course Veterans Day on November 11th.

Volunteering is a wonderful way to show thanks, including with organizations like the WINGS transitional housing program. and Feed My Starving Children. Residents of Friendship Village have volunteered with both.

Recently, residents of Friendship Village took the opportunity to formally express their gratitude to veterans and active service people through the Thanks a Million Program. Many also participated in an appreciation initiative, writing notes of thanks so our wonderful staff. 

There are numerous ways to unlock the power of gratitude in daily life. Giving thanks does not only have to take place on Thanksgiving. It can happen year-round. 

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Posted on Nov 14, 2021