The Benefits of Gratitude: Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Picture Michael Douglas in a re-imagined twist on the classic movie Wall Street. In Well Street, Dr. Gordon Gekko steps forward wearing a white labcoat and delivers his famous line:“Gratitude is good.”

Okay, Well Street probably isn’t destined to become a theatrical blockbuster. Even so, you might want to remember Dr. Gekko’s words at the dinner table this Thanksgiving.

Before you take a bite out of that turkey leg, take a minute to consider the health benefits of gratitude.

Scientifically-proven health benefits:

According to research discussed in a publication from Harvard Medical School¹, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

Other studies support the fact that people who practice gratitude lead healthier lives:

  • Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people report feeling healthier and experience fewer aches and pains than others, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.²
  • Gratitude improves psychological health. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, conducted multiple studies linking gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.²

This Thanksgiving, take a moment to look around the table at your loved ones and remember the words of Maya Angelou, “This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.”

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Share your thoughts of gratitude and encourage your family to do the same. It’s a great way of connecting with one another over the only holiday that includes the word “thanks” in the name.

Whether you’re thankful for your good health, your grandchildren, a trip you took this year, or achieving retirement, there’s always a reason to say “thanks” out loud. Remember, gratitude is good!

Our thanks to you, and Happy Thanksgiving.