Author: Racheal Mosimann

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful. When people think of November, they often think of being grateful. Not only is Thanksgiving in November, but November is National Gratitude month. The importance of gratitude goes beyond having a positive attitude. Gratefulness can improve your dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin levels. All of these neurotransmitters can enhance your overall mental health. Even more, it has been shown that improving your gratitude decreases risk of substance dependency and increases sleep health. Basically, gratitude can improve your overall well-being in multiple, noticeable ways.

It can be difficult to be grateful when life becomes difficult or overwhelming. When feeling this way, it is a perfect time to identify things to be grateful for in your life. There are endless amounts of people, experiences, or things to be grateful about. Some of these may include:

  • A New Day
  • Family, Friends, Your Support System
  • Pets
  • Food and Water
  • Fresh Air and Sunshine
  • Nature
  • Kindness of Others
  • Freedom

When thinking about everything one is grateful for, it can be beneficial to express the gratitude. Just like reasons to be grateful, there are many ways to express it. Some ideas consist of:

  • Expressing gratitude to people
  • Creating a gratitude journal
  • Giving back to the community (monetarily or personally)
  • Spend quality time with those you love

Being grateful is good for both individuals and communities. It has been proven that those who are purposefully grateful exercise, socialize, and volunteer more than those that are not. That is why it is important to be grateful all the time, not just during the month of November. However, if you need a time to start, National Gratitude month is a perfect time to begin. If you or someone you know needs help, please go to 400 SW Oakley Ave. or call (785)234-3300 for Crisis services.