Thanksgiving was yesterday. We all know that Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. For many, it is a day off from work, a day to celebrate families, a day to (often) overeat and the day that marks the beginning of the Christmas season. Santa arrives in New York City and, as those of us who have battled the crowds know, Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving and, traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.
But the true meaning of Thanksgiving is just what the name says – giving thanks…or, being grateful. Not just for material things, but for our lives, our families, our well-being and more.
The meaning of gratitude
According to Psychology Today, Gratitude is “an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has—as opposed to, for example, a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants.” Recently, Forbes published an article on gratitude, citing it as “allowing us to cherish our present in ways that make us feel in abundance rather than deprived. As a result, we become more motivated, less fatigued and, ultimately, better off”.
But why do I feel better if I am grateful?
First, there may be a purely scientific phenomenon that makes grateful or thankful people feel better. Studies have shown that gratitude may actually boost neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin as well as hormones such as oxytocin, all of which are related to wellbeing and positive thought. And there are any number of studies that validate the effect of gratitude on reducing depression, improving relationships and increasing heart-health!
OK, I’m convinced…but HOW can I be more grateful?
In addition to just sitting back and deciding to be grateful (that might be hard just by itself) – here are some fun tips that you can use as “gratitude games”:
- Before you head out for the day, or right before you go to bed, write down three things about which or for which you are grateful. They might be silly things, like “I’m thankful I didn’t burn my toast” or “I’m thankful I didn’t forget to put a stamp on that envelope” or more serious notes, such as “I’m thankful my doctor said I am fine” or “I am so grateful my friend got home safely”. The idea? Make gratitude for events a conscious effort.
- Tell someone something you appreciate about him or her every day. Once again, it could be telling your child that you are thankful he didn’t spill his morning orange juice or that you are so grateful she helped feed the dog. Or it can be more serious, such as telling your partner you are grateful for his or her love and support. Make gratitude for others a conscious effort.
- Take a good look at yourself in the mirror when you are brushing your teeth or cleaning your tongue with your TUNG Brush and Gel and tell YOURSELF you are grateful for something you have done or accomplished. Make gratitude for yourself a conscious effort.
Recognize your blessings, be they for events, others or yourself, and be grateful You will feel better. We at TUNG Brush and Gel are grateful for each and every one of you. And we feel pretty good!