Heh… did I get you? I didn’t mean the actual Thanksgiving Day tradition will make you live longer. Rather, actual acts of thanksgiving will increase your lifespan. A Better You Blog cites statistics from 2000 that being thankful is actually beneficial to your health.
One further reason is that research shows it is beneficial to your health (Mcollough, Emmons 2000). In this study, one participant group recorded a diary of daily events, another group wrote down unpleasant experiences, and the third group wrote down a daily record listing things for which they were grateful. The gratitude group was more likely to help others, exercise, and complete personal goals, while reporting more determination, optimism, alertness, energy, and enthusiasm. It is interesting to note that this study also found people who take time to deliberately record their gratitude were more likely to feel loved, and found more kindness reciprocated to them as they sent out an increase of kindness from their attitude. Also, grateful people were grateful regardless of whether special events happened in their day or not. In other words, they did not just have moments of gratefulness, but grateful attitudes.
In short, acts of gratitude improve your overall well-being. That’s reason enough for me to start being more thankful for what I have.
The article also gives three ways to get your gratitude on.