We don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to be thankful and appreciative of the good things in our lives. It fact, it turns out that the more often we express gratitude, the greater the positive affects. The act of being grateful, even just a little bit, can make us feel better, improve our mood, and change our outlook on life, or at least our outlook on a particular situation. When you take stock of the good things in your life – the people, animals, situations, or any number of other things - the positive emotions that come from gratitude can bring a sense of calm in distressing times.
Counting your blessings can actually make you feel better. Adults who maintain an “attitude of gratitude” tend to be happier and healthier than those who don’t. People who feel grateful are healthier, happier, and have more social connections than those who do not. Those who express appreciation are also less likely to be depressed, envious and have greater satisfaction with life. The same is true for kids and young adults, too.
Being grateful is different from being happy – it’s an attitude, and one that we can choose to adopt. The act of appreciation forces us to get out of our own heads and connect to something larger, helping us to see the bigger picture. Think of it this way. Complaining brings about negativity, but appreciation creates positive energy. The more people who express appreciation, the more positive energy there is in the world! By focusing on the things we do have, rather than the things we don’t or wished we had, we allow for positivity and abundance to enter our lives. Making space for appreciation is also a good way to cope in difficult times. So when you’re feeling down, or find that you’re being hard on yourself, try writing down what you’re grateful for, and see how you feel afterwards.
Some simple ways to express your gratitude:
- Keep a Gratitude Journal and regularly record one thing that you’re grateful for.
- For online social media users: Post what you’re grateful for or something good that happened on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. page. There’s enough negativity on these sites already!
- For Smartphone users: Download this neat Gratitude Phone App.
- Tell people you appreciate them, either in person, with a call, email, text, or an old fashioned, hand written note. Because it’s so rare these days, people love snail mail, and you’ll make them feel good, too!
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014