Thanksgiving is this Thursday. Without a doubt, it is my favorite holiday – a time to delight in the love of family and friends, delicious food, and to reflect on the things I am most grateful for.
What is Gratitude?
According to Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis and one of the world’s leading scientific experts on gratitude, gratitude consists of two parts:
1. Awareness of goodness in the world, and
2. Acknowledgement that the source of this goodness is outside of ourselves.
Dr. Emmons says that we experience gratitude when we perceive and appreciate the positive aspects of life. Gratitude does not minimize or ignore the hardships and complications of life – it simply calls on us to recognize the goodness that exists.
Practicing Gratitude Effects Your Total Well-being
Research on gratitude shows that people who regularly practice gratitude experience improvements in their physical, psychological, and social well-being. These benefits include:
- Being more helpful, generous, and compassionate
- Decreased depression
- Stronger immune systems
- Fewer aches and pains
- Lower blood pressure
- Better sleep
- Increased feelings of joy, optimism, and happiness
- Feeling less lonely and isolated
- Reduced stress
When asked what she is most grateful for, St. Petersburg RE/MAX Metro realtor Estelia Mesimer says, “I’m grateful for the love of family & friends, and for the continued support of my wonderful and loyal clients. I’m thankful knowing that I’ve helped clients realize their goals and dreams, and am honored by the trust and confidence they place in me.”
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Each day take time out to write down a few things that you personally appreciate or are thankful for in your life. It will keep you focused and will help you look on the bright side of life.
Share Your Gratitude
Gratitude does not have to be saved for the big things in life. The habit of being grateful starts with appreciating every good thing in life and recognizing that there is nothing too small for you to be thankful for. So, the next time your spouse, partner, friend or family member does something you appreciate, let them know.
Easy Gratitude Practices
Simple ways to practice gratitude: Notice the beauty in nature each day. Nurture your friendships you have. Smile more. Avoid negative media and rhetoric. Volunteer for organizations that help others. Don’t gossip or speak badly about anyone. Write a card to someone you haven’t seen in a while and tell them something nice. Add to your gratitude list daily, at least one more thing each day. When you think a negative thought, try to see the positive side in the situation. Post quotes and images that remind you to be grateful around your house.
Find Gratitude in Your Challenges
Gratitude is not only about being thankful for positive experiences. In fact, sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really see what you have to be thankful for.
Bottom Line: Remember to capture your gratitude attitude at home, at work, and with family, friends and strangers. Paying attention to what you are grateful for becomes easier as you practice it. Make being grateful a habit. Happy Thanksgiving 2021!
Books by Robert Emmons, Ph.D.
Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier
Gratitude Works!: A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity
The Little Book of Gratitude
St. Petersburg Communities
If you’re interested in any of these of communities or live in one of them and are thinking of selling, call Estelia today!
Greater Pinellas Point
Historic Old Northeast
Historic Roser Park
Isla del Sol