In his 1963 Thanksgiving proclamation, President John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Research shows that gratitude should be something we cultivate all year long rather than a quality we only celebrate on the fourth Thursday of November. To get into that habit, this month, “To Your Health” will focus each week on something to be thankful for.
Two psychologists, Dr. Emmons and Dr. McCullough, did a study on gratitude in which one group of participants wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them. After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. They also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
Our list of things to be grateful for this month includes the health benefits of social support, how pets improve our lives, and the hobbies help us achieve “flow”. Tune in each week in November to find out more.