How Practicing Gratitude Can Help Improve Your Overall Health and Wellness

As the holidays approach, being thankful is something we think about more often. We say we are thankful for family, friends, our jobs, and good health. Can I challenge you to elaborate? The next time you’re asked what you’re thankful for, show gratitude for something specific, like people that have recently influenced you and how, or a specific circumstance in your life.

I am thankful for my healthy baby boy, that I am pregnant with my second child, for my helpful loving husband, and that I have a warm house to live in. The list could go on but I try to think more deeply on a daily basis what I am thankful for. Today I am thankful modern medicine and antibiotics.

Expressing what we are thankful for daily can give us a reminder of the positives in life and where life can lead us – and takes us to where we want it to be.

What does thankfulness do for your body and mind? 

Thankfulness can build relationships. Giving gratitude to someone can show them validation and a sense of caring. Saying “thank you” to someone can give them motivation and a sense of accomplishment.

Thankfulness feels good. It gives us that warm fuzzy feeling. Reflection on those positive things in our life can bring us peace and happiness. It sends us positive emotions and relish in good experiences.

Thankfulness helps us take better care of our bodies.  In a study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, researches asked people to rate their levels of gratitude, physical health and psychological health, as well as how likely they were to do well being-boosting behaviors like exercise, healthy eating, and going to the doctor. They found positive correlations between gratitude and each of these behaviors, suggesting that giving thanks helps people appreciate and care for their bodies.

Do you want to dig deeper into how thankfulness can lead to improved health and wellness? These are two great articles I would recommend reading:

Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier – Harvard Medical School

Health Benefits of Gratitude –

How to express thankfulness: 

  • Thank someone mentally – give them thanks in your mind.
  • Write them a note of gratitude and mail it to them (or email, or text).
  • Count your blessings. Pick a time out of the week and go through things you are thankful for.
  • Meditate. Use mindfulness meditation to show gratitude.

This Thanksgiving as you are sitting around your amazing meal, have each person share something they are thankful for. Add a bit of fun and use our free downloadable “I am thankful for” cards.



Click the image above and download the free PDF file. Print the cards out on 8.5 x 11 sheets, cut them out, and place them on everyone’s plate before your Thanksgiving meal. As they’re waiting to be served, ask them to think about what they’re thankful for and write their responses on their cards. Have each person share their response before, during, or after eating. Let your guests take these cards home so the thoughts can carry on throughout the year, or save them for next year as a fun reminder of the special holiday.

From all of us at Performance Therapies, P.C. and Performance Health & Fitness, we appreciate you! Enjoy your Thanksgiving!


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