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gratitude nurtures thriving

Psychotherapist Amy Morin says mentally strong people choose to exchange self-pity for gratitude. She identifies seven reasons to be thankful.

1) Gratitude increases relationships. A 2014 study in
Emotion found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to pursue an ongoing relationship with you.

2) Gratitude improves physical health. A 2012 study published in
Personality & Individual Differences found that grateful people experience fewer aches and pains, and report feeling healthier than do others. Not surprisingly, they're also more likely to take care of their health.
3) Gratitude improves psychological health. Research by Robert Emmons reveals that gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, from envy and resentment to frustration and regret.

4) Gratitude enhance empathy. A 2012 study at University of Kentucky found that participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales experienced more sensitivity and empathy toward others as well as a decreased interest in revenge.

5) Gratitude improves sleep. According to
Applied Psychology: Health & Well-Being (2011), jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed will help you sleep better and longer.

6) Gratitude improves self-esteem. An article in
Journal of Applied Sport Psychology (2014) reported that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem which is an essential component to optimal performance.

7) Gratitude increases mental strength. In 2006,
Behavior Research & Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of PTSD.

So, here's a Thanksgiving homework assignment.

First, compose a personal letter of gratitude to your heavenly Father. Second, invite those dining with you on Thanksgiving to help you make a list of things for which you are thankful. Third, every day tell at least one person that you are thankful for them. Finally, every day begin a prayer with thanksgiving. ~

Happy Thanksgiving,
Dan Nygaard