Being grateful is one of the best ways to improve your mental health. According to an article in Forbes Magazine, gratitude has been scientifically proven to offer seven distinct benefits:
- Opening the door to more relationships
- Improving physical health
- Improving psychological health
- Enhancing empathy and reducing aggression
- Improving quality of sleep
- Improving self-esteem
- Increasing mental strength
Since Thanksgiving is here, you may now be finally taking the time to think about the things in your life that you are most grateful for. While the holidays provide a great opportunity for you to reflect on these things, you shouldn’t limit yourself to only consciously expressing your gratitude once or twice a year. In my experience as a mental health therapist, I have personally seen countless people improve their lives and their mindsets simply by giving thanks for the blessings – even the smallest ones – in their lives.
Things To Be Grateful For
As your online mental health counselor, I am here to help you improve your mental health. I have compiled a list of simple, everyday blessings you can be grateful for in your life. Perhaps not every single one of these will apply to you, but many of them probably will.
- Having a home. Whether you live in a mansion or a small apartment, having a roof over your head is something to be thankful for.
- The ability to read. Reading connects you to a world of people and ideas you would never know otherwise.
- The rising sun. No matter how bad yesterday was, tomorrow will always be a new day filled with new possibilities.
- Your cell phone. You may have come to take your phone for granted, but the ease with which it allows you to communicate with friends and family is worth being grateful for.
- Your five senses. Sight, hearing, sound, taste, and touch – these five senses enable you to experience and enjoy your environment to its fullest potential.
- Having a job. Even though you may not always want to go to work, having a way to make money is definitely something to be thankful for.
- Your teachers. Expand this category to include everyone who has ever taught you something – how to read, how to file your taxes, how to be thankful… The list of things you have learned from others is practically endless.
- Music. Music allows us to feel and express emotions that words cannot convey.
- Your pets. We have much to learn from our pets, and they enrich our lives in ways that we may never fully understand.
- An internet connection. If you’re reading this, you can be thankful for the opportunity to connect with the entire world through your laptop, phone, or other device.
- Books, TV shows, and movies. They educate us, make us laugh, and allow us the opportunity to escape from our everyday lives.
- Your parents. They may drive you crazy every now and then, but at the very least, you can be thankful for the life they gave you.
- Your mistakes. Often, your most valuable learning opportunities will come from mistakes you have made.
- A loving partner/spouse. Words cannot express the value of a loving, committed, and supportive partner.
- Having someone open the door for you. It’s a simple gesture, but one that is severely underappreciated.
- December 22nd. The day after the winter solstice is when daylight hours start getting longer again. Countless studies have proven that having more daylight makes people happier.
- Laughing until you cry. It’s true what they say – laughter really is the best medicine!
What Are You Thankful For?
This week may be Thanksgiving, but make a conscious effort to be grateful for these things throughout the rest of the year as well. You may be surprised what an impact it makes.