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Mental Health

why you should give thanks this thanksgiving

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

This holiday season you should fill your thoughts with those of gratitude and tell those around you how grateful you are for them! Not only will this create better and more meaningful relationships in your life, but it will positively affect your mental health.

Positive psychology insists that gratitude is strongly associated with overall happiness. Harvard Health Publishing states, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships”. Furthermore, the Broaden and Build Theory in positive psychology says that once you notice one positive thing in your life, it will increase your mood and make it easier for you to notice another positive thing and so on, thus you will experience an upward spiral of positive wellbeing. Expressing gratitude towards someone will also make them happier and create an ongoing chain of positive well-being in their life.

Remember, while it is important to thank those around you, it is also important to acknowledge the little things that we are given in life, that are often taken advantage of, such as a roof over our heads or food on our table. Expressing gratitude is proven to increase overall happiness, therefore by promoting gratitude in your life, you will ultimately promote positivity and happiness. 

There are several ways to cultivate gratitude and they are often as easy as thanking someone for holding the door open for you. However, there are more intentional ways to produce gratitude such as 

  • Writing 3 things that you’re grateful for in a journal every morning
  • Writing thank you letters or texts
  • Calling a friend to thank them for being in your life

This holiday season is the perfect time to reflect on those that have made a difference in your life and thank them for doing so. It can be as simple or extravagant as you like. This Thanksgiving, be sure to let those around you know how thankful you are for them- it might make you happier too!

Sophomore Psychology major Writing Rhetoric and Technical Communications Minor Expected Graduation 2025