The Power Of Gratitude

July 1, 2023

Gratitude isn’t just an emotion – it’s a form of resilience. If you can express gratitude for the little things in life, it will give you the ability to adjust positively – no matter the circumstances. 

Let’s take a closer look at why saying “thank you” is so much more than just polite etiquette, and how you can “get your grateful on” today!

High angle view at group of senior people sitting at table together and smiling happily in retirement home

What is the Science Behind Gratitude?

Gratitude is a positive emotion that involves acknowledging the goodness or positive aspects of our lives, such as expressing appreciation for the help you received from someone, the beautiful weather, or the good food you had for lunch. 

The simple act of feeling grateful triggers a cascade of positive effects in the brain and body, releasing feel-good chemicals like oxytocin and dopamine and increasing our overall well-being.

Research has found that being grateful can reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress while also increasing happiness and life satisfaction. 

5 Ways a Grateful Mindset Could Help You and Your Family

Here are five ways a grateful mindset can help you out. 

1. Decreases Stress and Anxiety

A study by the University of California found that gratitude can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Being grateful activates regions in the brain associated with pleasure, moral processing, and social cognition, leading to an overall reduction in stress levels.

2. Boosts Happiness 

Expressing gratitude can create positive emotions and lead to an overall sense of well-being. Grateful people report feeling happier and more satisfied in their lives. 

3. Improves Relationships

Feeling and expressing gratitude towards our partners, friends, and family members can increase feelings of connectedness and overall satisfaction with the relationship.

4. Enhances Physical Health

Research shows that gratitude can even have physical health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, improved immune function, and even better sleep.

How to Incorporate Gratitude in Your Daily Routine

So, how can you incorporate gratitude into your daily routine? Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal

One way to incorporate gratitude into your daily routine is to keep a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, write down three things you’re grateful for. They can be big or small, from a good cup of coffee to a wonderful day spent with family. 

2. Say Thank You

When was the last time you genuinely thanked someone? Expressing gratitude not only lifts your own mood, but it can also brighten someone else’s day. 

3. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present and aware of your surroundings. Practicing mindfulness can help you appreciate the little things in life that you may have overlooked before. 

4. Volunteer

Whether it’s at a local food bank or helping out at a homeless shelter, giving back can help us appreciate all the things we have in life.

Gratitude and Senior Living Communities 

Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can change the way we see the world. 

Incorporating gratitude into your daily routine is also helpful if you’re adjusting to a new living situation in a senior living community. By showing appreciation for the everyday things, we can find fulfillment and purpose no matter where we are. 

Use gratitude to enhance your sense of community, no matter where you are, and talk to the family at PLC communities if you’re having trouble navigating this transition in life. We’re here to help!

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