Why giving thanks could improve our Life
Today is Thanksgiving Day in America. As the season sends our kababayans in the US into a flurry of preparations and parties, let us also get into the holiday spirit and pick up some important lessons from the festivities.
A study by University of California (UC)-Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Centre (GGSC) revealed that feeling thankful can affect our health. UC-Davis psychologist Robert Emmons said ‘Because so much of human life is about giving, receiving and repaying, gratitude is a pivotal concept for our social interactions.’
He added that American culture and other cultures don’t give much value in gratitude. But here are some reasons why we should start to be more generous of our ‘thank yous:’
Less stress, better moods. GGSC said that those who are grateful tend to be happier. Two studies they conducted revealed that gratitude upped moods and reduced anxiety and depression.
Less pain, more gain. Gratitude has a physical dimension: it helps us be more aware of our health and pushes us to pick up exercise. Other than that, a research revealed that those who are grateful also display stronger immune systems, register fewer disease symptoms and have lower blood pressure.
Better sleep. One research noted that people who are grateful tend to sleep more and better, feeling more refreshed in the morning.
Stronger relationships. According to one study, saying thank you to people we care about ‘enhances one’s perception of the relationship’s communal strength.’ Another study added that ‘gratitude had uniquely predictive power in relationship promotion, perhaps acting as a booster shot for the relationship.’
Resilience. Emmons said that a broader sense of gratitude can stem from a learning to take nothing for granted. He added that the American Thanksgiving tradition itself grew out of hard times. Misfortunes are often not something we should be thankful. But they can teach us to be optimistic and brave enough to conquer and move on from adversity.