When you think of things you are thankful for, what first comes to mind? Perhaps family and friends, a good job, or (finally!) paying off a debt. Perhaps you’re thankful to put food on the table or thankful that someone else will do the cooking this time. Some people are thankful to have plans to travel, many of whom were unable to see their loved ones this time last year. Others are thankful that children or grandchildren are coming to visit them after a lonely 2020 holiday.
Giving thanks isn’t just a polite thing to do when someone shows us kindness, it’s actually good for our health! Studies consistently show that an attitude of gratitude not only makes us a more pleasant person to be around, it impacts our physical and mental well-being.
Thankful people are more likely to exercise, eat healthy, and take care of their bodies. They have lower stress, less pain, and better functioning immune systems. A thankful attitude positively impacts your heart health — as it turns out, a possible antidote to high blood pressure is (you guessed it!) gratitude.
Mental health is quite obviously positively affected by giving thanks. It increases self-esteem and makes us view the world in a generally more optimistic light. The “feel-good” chemicals in our brain like oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine also take an upward spike when our outlook is one of gratitude.
Here are some gratitude exercise to get you all of those positive benefits:
- Take a walk and name three things you notice that bring you joy.
- Drink a cup of tea or coffee and take a moment to actually enjoy it.
- Look up! Give thanks for the roof over your head.
- Tell someone about an act of kindness you witnessed recently (then find a way to pay it forward).
- Text a friend and tell them how much they mean to you.
- Call a family member and tell them thank you for something they did for you (recently or long ago, reminiscing can be good for the soul too).
- Grab a stack of sticky notes. Write one thing you are thankful for each day and post it somewhere you’ll see it frequently (like a mirror or your office wall).
At Sonlight Cleaning Services, we are thankful for you, our clients. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wake-up call for people to take notice of the things in life that matter most. We are acutely aware that many family- and locally-owned businesses did not survive the events of the past two years. Yet because of you (yes, you) Sonlight Cleaning Services is here and ready to serve the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex for another thirty years. We are thankful that when the world shut down, you called us up. We are thankful that when the need for proper disinfecting had never been greater, you trusted us. We are thankful that, together, we are walking into a brighter year than the one that is behind us.
May your celebrations this year be extra cause for gratitude. Happy Thanksgiving!
By Laura Pulliam