As we enjoy our last evening of the Thanksgiving weekend, I thought I’d share a great article a friend posted on Facebook today from Wednesday’s The Wall Street Journal Online.

Thank You. No, Thank You.

It talks about how a growing body of research supports that having “an attitude of gratitude can improve psychological, emotional and physical well-being. Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections. And now, researchers are finding that gratitude brings similar benefits in children and adolescents.”

“The research is part of the ‘positive psychology’ movement, which focuses on developing strengths rather than alleviating disorders. … Can people learn to look on the bright side, want what they have and be grateful for it? Experts believe that about 50% of such temperament is genetic, but the rest comes from experience.

A couple of suggestions to cultivate gratitude…

  • Keep a journal and regularly record whatever you are grateful for that day. Be specific.
  • A Buddhist exercise, called Naikan self-reflection, asks people to ponder daily: “What have I received from…? What have I given to…? and What trouble have I caused…?” Acknowledging those who touched your life—from the barista who made your coffee to the engineer who drove your train—and reflecting on how you reciprocated reinforces humbleness and interdependence.”

As we get back to our routines tomorrow and into the busy month of December, try cultivating gratitude in the final month of year and see how it can help YOU. :)