Gratitude makes you happier, healthier, and more popular

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What does it mean to “give thanks?”

Well, it depends. It depends on who, where, when, and how.

If you were around in October 1621 at the Plimouth Plantation, you might have been part of the “First Thanksgiving”. Here, the Native Americans and Pilgrims came together to celebrate the first harvest in the New World.

The settlers had struggled the previous winter due to a lack of supplies and food. Many had starved or became ill and died as a result. Yet, a number survived. Massasoit, leader of the Wampanoag tribe, had given the colonists food to get through their first winter.

After the snow thawed, the Pilgrims gradually learned to live off the land. Squanto, from the Patuxet tribe, taught them how to grow corn and catch eel. After this successful harvest, they threw a three-day feast that included waterfowl, turkey, venison, corn, and various shellfish.

Although such festivities were held intermittently in the years since, Thanksgiving finally became a federal holiday in 1863, thanks to Abraham Lincoln. Since then, Thanksgiving has been celebrated in the U.S. on the fourth Thursday of every November.

Fast Forward to Gratitude Today

While roast turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce are staples for the Thanksgiving holiday today, how often do we really practice gratitude?

We complain about this and that. We get agitated when deciding what to wear if we’re not served right away at a restaurant, and after a store doesn’t stock our favorite brand of coffee. But is it a surprise, given we live in an age of abundance?

When it comes to our everyday needs and wants, we have variety right at our fingertips. We can have any type of food delivered right to our doorstep. Our phones ping notifications on today’s trending news. And if you’re looking for entertainment, just open up your internet browser. While these are all good things, we easily take what we have for granted.

People’s acts of kindness often go unrecognized. In many cases, the recipient fails to say a simple “thanks” or give any acknowledgment. In an everyday quest to get things done, people are consumed by their own lives and forget to take the time to thank others.

It seems as if the original intent behind that first Thanksgiving feast has been lost with time.

The Benefits of Gratitude

Both giving and receiving thanks are important. But in order to understand why we need to see the benefits.

There are three main benefits to being thankful:

1. Strengthening social relationships

Gratitude can help us befriend others, improve existing relationships, make amends, and recognize others’ good deeds. In romantic relationships, practicing gratitude for the little things can make all the difference. In one study, expressing gratitude towards the partner improved the relationship quality for both people.

Letting someone know that you’re grateful for the person’s actions, or simply for being in your life, can improve your relationship. It doesn’t matter whether the person is a stranger, friend, parent, relative, or whoever. Thanking others breeds positive feelings all around.

2. Improving our personal sense of well-being

In a study, one group of participants wrote about the things they were grateful for, a second group reflected on the daily things that irritated them, and a third group wrote about their week with neither a positive nor negative slant. 10 weeks later, the grateful group was more optimistic and happier about their lives, while the group that focused on negativity was more likely to visit the doctor.

Giving thanks is not only rewarding intrinsically, but it also helps us feel better about what we have. We’re more joyful overall. Even if you’re having a bad day or things don’t go the way you want, there are definitely some things that you have to be grateful for.

3. Maintaining good health

According to one study, gratitude is linked to the quality of your sleep. People who reflected on the positive things that happened in their day had a better night’s sleep than those who with a negative outlook.

The quality of your sleep is directly related to how you feel during the day and your overall health. Those who were less grateful were more stressed, anxious, and depressed. The opposite was true for those who were more grateful.

To sum it up, here’s a quote from the Wall Street Journal article “Thank You. No, Thank You” on how gratitude affects our lives:

“Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections, and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics.”

How to Practice Gratitude

Now that we’ve seen all the benefits of gratitude, we need to incorporate more of it into our lives Practicing gratitude can easily be done using these three ways:

1. Keep a gratitude journal

Jot down a few things you’re thankful for. Place a notebook on your bedside table so that it’s convenient. The best time of the day to write in your journal is right before sleeping. That way, you can reflect on everything that’s happened during the day and you get a happier night’s rest.

To start and end your day on a good note, try The Five Minute Journal.

Remember to be specific. Instead of writing that you’re “thankful for your friend”, think of a specific example, such as “my friend shared her own experiences with work conflict, which helped me navigate a similar situation.” Thinking of particular instances forces you to think hard about the good things that have happened.

2. When in doubt, say “thanks”

We often forget to thank people for the little things, such as lending a pen. Sometimes, we even forget to say “thanks” for the bigger things, such as gifts or loans. If you’re not sure what to say, a simple word of thanks does wonders in making the other person feel valued.

If you met someone interesting at a networking event or completed an academic course, reach out and send an email to the person to thank them for what they taught you. Opening up the lines of communication can lead to opportunities down the road.

3. Use positive phrases

When you’re faced with a dilemma, switch out those negative phrases for positive ones. For instance, I had a power outage that lasted for days. While it was definitely inconvenient, at least I had a chance to interact with people, free of electronics, and catch up on good old-fashioned books.

Whether something is a problem or an opportunity depends on how you look at it. And the way you look at things changes your mindset, attitude, and actions.

A Simple Act of “Thanks” Can Blossom into Something More

The Pilgrims held a feast to celebrate the promise of a bright future. They made it through a difficult winter and recognized how much they had to be thankful for. They saw a place where they and their descendants could thrive.

It’s interesting how such a simple, seemingly insignificant event would go on to become an important annual tradition. If only the Pilgrims who celebrated in those early days recognized the weight of their actions then.

Who knows what significant events can unfold from the small actions you perform today?

You Are The Reason – Calum Scott & Leona Lewis

This is so special song with lyrics – You Are The Reason –  “You belong so deep within my heart. Your laughter brightens up my days. You are the purpose of my life and the reason why I live.”

 

Lyrics:

There goes my heart beating

Cause you are the reason

I’m losing my sleep

Please come back now

 

There goes my mind racing

And you are the reason

That I’m still breathing

I’m hopeless now

 

I’d climb every mountain

And swim every ocean

Just to be with you

And fix what I’ve broken

Oh, ‘cause I need you to see

That you are the reason

 

There goes my hands shaking

Cause you are the reason

My heart keeps bleeding

And I need you now

 

If I could turn back the clock

I’d make sure the light defeated the dark

I’d spend every hour, of every day

Keeping you safe

 

I’d climb every mountain

And swim every ocean

Just to be with you

And fix what I’ve broken

Oh, ‘cause I need you to see

That you are the reason

You are the reason

Yeah, yeah…

 

I’d climb every mountain

And swim every ocean

Just to be with you

And fix what I’ve broken

Oh, ‘cause I need you to see

That you are the reason

30 Perfect Quotes To Remind You Exactly Why You Fell In Love

happy interracial couple, happy couple, love quotes, quotes about love

1.

“Falling in love is easy. Falling in love with the same person repeatedly is extraordinary.”
— Crystal Woods

2.

“Love is simple. You fall and that’s it. You’ll work the other stuff out. You just gotta let yourself fall and have faith that someone will be there to catch you.”
— Chelsea M Cameron

3.

“When you fall in love with someone you give them your heart. When you find out they love you too, you get it back, times two.”
— Unknown

4.

“In life you have to take the pace that love goes. You don’t force it. You just don’t force love, you don’t force falling in love – you just become. I don’t know how to say that in English, but you just feel it.”
— Juan Pablo Galavis

5.

“I think that one of the things that you do learn is that falling in love and being in love with someone is a rarity. That you don’t fall in love as many times as you think you’re going to. And when you do, it’s really special, it’s really important.”
— Julianne Moore

6.

“She wasn’t exactly sure when it happened. Or even when it started. All she knew for sure was that right here and now, she was falling hard and she could only pray that he was feeling the same way.”
— Nicholas Sparks

7.

“First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.”
— Maya Angelou

8.

“Never love anybody who treats you like you’re ordinary.”
— Oscar Wilde>

9.

“We do not fall in love with the package of the person, we fall in love with the inside of a person.”
— Unknown

10.

“I’m a human being and I fall in love and sometimes I don’t have control of every situation.”
— Beyonce

11.

“Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart, not someone who plays with it.”
— Anonymous

12.

“We never get enough of falling in love and believing in love.”
— Shemar Moore

13.

“You know you’re falling in love when the feeling of falling actually feels like you’re floating.”
— Rashida Rowe

14.

“Maybe it’s just hiding somewhere. Or gone on a trip to come home. But falling in love is always a pretty crazy thing. It might appear out of the blue and just grab you. Who knows, maybe even tomorrow.”
— Harukin Murakami

15.

‘When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew.”
— Arrigo Boito

16.

“You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.”
— Albert Einstein

17.

“I am naïve when it comes to love, you know what I mean? I do believe in falling in love at first sight and things like that.”
— Sonam Kapoor

18.

“The first time you fall in love, it changes your life forever and no matter how hard you try, the feeling never goes away.”
— Nicholas Sparks

19.

“Falling in love with you was never my intention but it became my addiction.”
— Abhishek Tiwari

20.

“Don’t find love, let love find you. That’s why it’s called falling in love because you don’t force yourself to fall, you just fall.”
— Anonymous

21.

“Love does not appear with any warning signs. You fall into it as if pushed from a high diving board. No time to think about what’s happening. It’s inevitable. An event you can’t control. A crazy, heart-stopping roller coaster ride that just has to take it’s course.”
— Jackie Collins

22.

“I have completely fallen for you. Everything you do, everything you say, everything you are. You’re my first thought in the morning, you’re my last thought before I fall asleep and you’re almost every thought in between.”
— Unknown

23.

“If I know what love is, it is because of you.”
— Hermann Hesse

24.

“No one ever fell in love gracefully.”
— Connie Broadway

25.

“They told me that to make her fall in love I had to make her laugh. But every time she laughs, I’m the one who falls in love.”
— Unknown

26.

“This thing about you that you think is your flaw – it’s the reason I’m falling in love with you.”
— Colleen Hoover

27.

“Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke

28.

“I know I am in love with you because my reality is finally better than my dreams.”
— Dr Seuss

29.

“Falling in love is like getting hit by a truck and yet not being mortally wounded. Just sick to your stomach, high one minute, low the next. Starving hungry but unable to eat. Hot, cold, forever horny, full of hope and enthusiasm with momentary depression that wipes you out.”
— Jackie Collins

30.

“A relationship is a relationship that has to be earned. And I love relationships. I think there fantastic, there wonderful. I think there great, I think there is nothing in the world more beautiful than falling in love. But falling in love for the right reasons, falling in love for the right purpose, falling in love.