Thanksgiving: the time of year for family and friends to gather around the dining room table to embrace an attitude of gratitude. Many are thankful for family, friends, and of course– a delicious, hot Thanksgiving feast.
Gratitude can be defined as having a thankful appreciation for what we have. Being grateful changes our perspective and focuses on what we already have instead of what we lack. There are a few different ways people often express gratitude:
Per Harvard Health Publishing, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Furthermore, there is ample scientific evidence that supports these claims, like this study by McCraty and colleagues (1998) where adults were taught to “cultivate appreciation and other positive emotions.” The results? Participants experienced a reduction in cortisol, suggesting that people with an “attitude of gratitude”, do in fact, experience lower levels of stress (Positive Pyschology, 2020).
We’re sold! But wait… why are we so often only focused on expressing gratitude once a year around the Thanksgiving table? If we know that gratitude has social, emotional, and physical benefits, why wouldn’t we want to make it a daily practice in our lives? Well, we couldn’t agree more. So let’s talk about how we can foster an attitude of gratitude 365 days a year:
So this Thanksgiving, instead of just ‘giving thanks’ at the dinner table, share this message: gratitude is powerful. Make it known that you’re going to try to incorporate gratitude into your day-to-day and challenge those around you to do the same. And on behalf of the ES team who is always grateful for all of our hard-working teachers, therapists, and administrators– Happy Thanksgiving!
P.S. Teachers and therapists! Explore this concept of gratitude with your students this holiday season. with these ES exclusive freebies:
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