[sdropcap]I[/sdropcap] recently attended my 25th high school reunion. As always, it was wonderful to see everyone and hear their stories. It’s oddly comforting to know that while everyone is different and has grown, some things always stay the same.

Like the laughter between old friends.

I am deeply blessed to have people in my life that I know no matter how long between visits that we can connect on the best levels when we do see each other.

The whole weekend made me reflect on my life and where I am today. When you sum up the last 25 years in a few minute discussion and tell the highlights over and over again, it’s a form of expressing gratitude.

You don’t mention the time you were curled up in the fetal position crying your eyes out over work, family, a boy, etc. None of those moments matter in the bubble of the reunion…you put your best foot forward.

We should all make a point to express gratitude more often. More and more studies are showing the overwhelming benefits of expressing gratitude…whether through a journal, a thank you note, or your own inner voice.

Here are a few tidbits from various studies:

  • Grateful people tend to be more optimistic.
  • Grateful people tend to exercise more and take better care of their health through diet and medical checkups.
  • Expressing gratitude is a great way to relieve stress. Stress can be extremely detrimental to one’s health, so it’s a win-win.
  • When people are more optimistic, they have stronger immune systems.
  • If facing medical issues, people tend to have better outcomes when optimistic.
  • Expressing gratitude toward your partner can lead to improved relationships and make a person more comfortable to speak up when something is wrong.

Find ways to incorporate more gratitude into your life. Don’t wait for the next Big Event. Reflect on your day and say out loud what you were grateful for that day. It’s easier than you think!

Take action now by telling someone you appreciate them. Those small moments can make all the difference in the world to someone and you’ll get a health boost simply for saying “Thank You!”.

Tell me in the comments below how you express gratitude or how someone expressing gratitude toward you helped you.

Tami McVay