It’s that time of year to explore what you are most grateful for, it’s the month of gratitude.

The term gratitude comes from the Latin term “gratus,” which translates to “grace,” “thankful” or “pleasing.”  And refers to a readiness to show appreciation towards others or oneself.  And gratitude can be tangible or intangible.

Why should you practice gratitude?

When you practice gratitude, you acknowledge the good in your life.

In psychology research, a practice of finding gratitude correlates with a higher relationship to happiness.  Gratitude helps people find kinder feelings towards themselves and their surroundings, to really take in all the great times in their lives, and to push for better physical health.

In a study by two psychologists from the University of Miami and UC Davis, Dr. Michael E. McCullough and Dr. Robert A Eammons, they asked three different groups of people to write a couple of sentences each day with one group asked to write about what they were grateful for, another about the frustrations that day, and the last group as neutral and unspecified writing.  The group who wrote about gratitude for ten weeks felt more optimistic and were exercising a lot more than their counterparts.

Expressing gratitude can also be good for your relationships.  When people expressed gratitude for their partner, they felt more feelings of joy for their lover.

And a manager who thanks their employees might also see their subordinates working harder according to a study out of University of Pennsylvania.

So as you can see, by expressing your gratitude, you can help both yourself and the others around you to live happier lives.

How can you find gratitude?

Keep a gratitude journal.  A journal can help you keep all those kind thoughts in one place!  And it will help you remember to keep looking and seeing how you’ve grown or at least let you smile when you see something you’ve already written that you’re grateful for.

Write a thank you card.  You can make yourself happier as well as the person who receives the card.  When you acknowledge the good of someone in your life, you think about that kindness a little more, which in turn helps elevate your mood.  Then you give the card to someone and they’ll smile too.

Mentally thank someone.  If you don’t have time to actually write a card, why not thank them in your mind.  You will get to think about their kindness and also feel happy to be thinking about that nice time you had or the good meal they cooked.

Meditate.  When you meditate you can think about the great things in your life and how you feel happy to be living.  You sit there and think through your gratitude list.

Yoga.  Similar to meditation, the movement is so meditative that you can really lose yourself in the physical.  You don’t need to think about everything so hard and can just enjoy being in your body.

No matter how you choose to find your gratitude, be sure to practice it this month and all the time, so you always feel like your best self. 

About the author

Alice Cash is the Marketing Manager for Jubilance by day and an award winning Theatre Director by night.  Leading the podcast Weekly Woman, she loves her candid conversations with women from all over the world about how they live and the amazing things they are doing to make a difference. Alice is also the editor of the bi-monthly newsletter the Jubilee, a blog dedicated to the power of female wellness especially concerning menstruation.  She’s worked in France creating theatre pieces and taught drama and filmmaking to women and children in Haiti.  She graduated from Georgetown University and holds two master degrees from NYU and The New School.  Alice has traveled to  40+ countries, including Tibet.  She is a New Yorker and can often be found in Central Park, searching out the best bubble tea, or directing a play, you never know where she’ll show up. @alicesadventuresinwonderworld
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