Gratitude Hack: Give Thanks!

It may not be the tryptophan causing you to nod off after your turkey dinner on Thanksgiving; it may be the thanks you gave around the dining room table. Practicing gratitude reduces stress, and lower stress levels can lead to better sleep.

University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons told WebMD, “Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress.”

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So, why wait for Thanksgiving, to give thanks? Here’s a quick and simple way to practice gratitude every day. Set a timer for between 1 and 5 minutes, whatever you can spare, and list all of the things, big and small, you are grateful for. Maybe it’s your health, or a strong cup of coffee, a good book, or time to read that book, or a smile from someone you helped.

Don’t edit your list; just say “thank you” for whatever comes to mind in those few minutes. Try this for a week, and see how you feel. You may be surprised just how much you have to be thankful for.

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