National Gratitude Month: a time to improve your health by giving back
27 November 2023
November is National Gratitude Month, a time to reflect on the blessings in our lives and express appreciation. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, gratitude can reduce stress and improve physical and mental health.
Gratitude can transform our well-being and strengthen our communities. Daily practicing gratitude can also boost your mental and emotional well-being and even improve your physical health. This month — especially on Giving Tuesday — take a few minutes to think about what makes you feel grateful and how you can give back.
Gratitude and Well-being: Research consistently shows that cultivating gratitude can meaningfully affect our mental and emotional health. When we take a moment to acknowledge the positive aspects of our lives, whether big or small, we can begin to train our brains.
"Regularly taking time to focus on the positive can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression," says Paul Giger, MD, MBA, Medical Director of Behavioral Health at Providence Health Plan (PHP). "By routinely practicing gratitude, your brain strengthens the neural pathways to more readily produce 'happy hormones' like dopamine and serotonin, resulting in better and long-lasting production."
Physical benefits: The connection between gratitude and health goes beyond mental well-being — it can support physical health. Studies have shown that practicing gratitude can lower blood pressure, increase immune function, and help you get better sleep.
"We know that intentional gratitude reduces overall risk for depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders," Giger says. "Gratitude can be a great tool to fortitude resilience and enhance our overall mindsets."
Ways to give back: National Gratitude Month is the perfect time to give back to the community and make a positive impact on the lives of others. Whether through financial support or sharing your time and energy, there are many ways to participate. Below are some of our recent community partners. We hope you’ll take some time to explore these organizations and, give where you can: