Healthy Kingsport

Focusing on gratitude impacts mental health. When we practice gratitude regularly, it not only impacts our mental and physical health but those around us. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation for what we have. When many of us are struggling to adapt to a new normal, practicing gratitude is more important than ever.

Showing gratitude has the following mental health benefits:

Expressing gratitude can improve your mood. People who regularly express gratitude for the positive things in their life are happier overall, leading to lower rates of stress and depression.

Showing gratitude can make you more optimistic. Those who express gratitude regularly appear to have a more positive outlook on life.

Sharing gratitude can improve social bonds. Feeling more loved and more connected to others results when people routinely practice gratitude or those around them practice gratitude.

Practicing gratitude can improve your physical health. People who actively express gratitude tend to be more engaged in activities to take care of their physical health, like eating well and exercising. This leads to higher energy levels, better sleep, a more robust immune system, or the ability to fight off illness or infection.

How can your family practice gratitude?

Try to appreciate everything. This includes not only the big and obvious but also the small. Recognize the good in every part of your day.

Keep a gratitude journal. Please take a few minutes to think about what you are grateful for and write them down at the end of each day. This can be anywhere from one thing to 10 and will help you develop a habit of recognizing the good from each day.

Volunteer in your community. United Way of Greater Kingsport is the perfect way to find ways to share your talents. Visit https://www.volunteer-united.org/ to get started. Research shows that volunteering is significantly helpful in improving mental and physical health, including increased life satisfaction and happiness and lower depressive symptoms, stress, and anxiety.

Spend time with loved ones. That can help you recognize things to be grateful for and evoke feelings of happiness and love.

As Thanksgiving Day comes to an end, remember that the daily expression of gratitude doesn’t have to stop. Being grateful is proven to be good for your health.

Surround yourself with visual reminders of life’s blessings, keep a gratitude journal, reflect on times when you were grateful to someone and thank them by a written note or phone call, and stay positive even when trying times come along.

Happy Thanksgiving, Kingsport!

Healthy Kingsport is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a community that actively embraces healthy living by promoting wellness, enhancing infrastructure, and influencing policy. Visit our Facebook page, like us on Instagram, and follow us on Twitter for educational videos and posts to live a healthier lifestyle. Aiesha Edwards is the Executive Director of Healthy Kingsport. She can be reached at abanks@healthykingsport.org. Desteny Clemons is the Program Coordinator and can be reached at dclemons@healthykingsport.org. To learn more about health and wellness in the community, join us at the 5th Annual Walk for Wellness Expo on April 23, 2022, at the Lynn View Community Center. This is a Free event! Register today and receive a free t-shirt. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2021-walk-for-wellness-expo-tickets-158619417949.

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