Did you know that November is national gratitude month? Well, this month, at the Waterloo CBT Clinic, we will be celebrating national gratitude month and encourage all of you to celebrate with us. Gratitude refers to “the quality of being thankful” and the readiness to show appreciation. I think we can all agree that practicing gratitude, and saying “thank you” is important, but why? What is so great about gratitude? Well, read this article to find out!

1. Gratitude improves our physiological well-being.
Yep- you read that right! Being grateful actually improves our physical health and well-being. One of the reasons that practicing gratitude may be related to our physical health is because gratitude improves our sleeping patterns. When we practice gratitude, we are more likely to have positive thoughts around bedtime; this might make falling asleep MUCH easier. And sleep plays an important role in our physical health and well-being. Gratitude may also be good for our heart health. Practicing gratitude helps us deal with stressful situations, and lowers blood pressure, leading to happy, healthy hearts!

2. Gratitude improves our psychological well-being.
When we practice gratitude, we are less likely to experience other negative emotions, such as envy, frustration, anger, and regret. Also, when we practice gratitude we are more likely to experience happiness, joy, pleasure, and optimism. Well-known psychologist Robert Emmons suggests that gratitude magnifies our positive emotions, and encourages us to be in the present moment.

3. Gratitude improves the quality of our interpersonal relationships.
Gratitude isn’t only beneficial for our physical and mental health and well-being, gratitude also improves the quality of our interpersonal relationships. Expressing gratitude for our friends and romantic partners is about more than saying “thank you.” When we are truly grateful for the people in our lives, we appreciate all of their traits and we recognize how lucky we are. Also, when we express our gratitude for our friends and romantic partners, they feel appreciated and they are more likely to express their gratitude.

How can we be more grateful in our every-day lives?
Now that you know just a few of the benefits of gratitude, here are some ways we recommend you practice gratitude in your day-to-day life!
• Keep a gratitude journal. Try to write 1-3 things that you are grateful for every day.
• Start conversations about gratitude. Whether you are meeting new people, or catching up with old friends, chatting about what you appreciate in your lives is sure to be a lively conversation.
• If you enjoy art, try drawing or painting about things you are grateful for.
• Share your gratitude with others. If you appreciate something, say something!
• Volunteer in your community! One way you can express your gratitude is by giving back to those who may be less fortunate than you are.

Interested in learning more about what we do at Waterloo CBT Clinic? Don’t forget to check out our list of resources here: https://waterloocbt.ca/resources/

Author: Lindsey Erin Feltis, MA Candidate