It is hard to believe, but Thanksgiving Day is quickly approaching. Within a few short weeks we will be enjoying whatever Thanksgiving traditions we all have while reminiscing on everything we have to be thankful for. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because there is something so beautiful about a day filled with thankfulness and telling our loved ones how much we truly appreciate them. I always find my heart (and belly) incredibly full after Thanksgiving Day. There is research that has been done to tell us why exactly we feel happier when we express gratitude.
Gratitude improves our mental health. Research shows us that gratitude increases happiness and helps reduce depression. Thankfulness also enhances empathy. When we are thankful to others, we become more empathetic and understanding. Having gratitude also has been shown to increase mental strength. When going through a difficult time, being able to recognize things you have to be thankful for, can help make those difficult times a little bit easier.
As Thanksgiving Day approaches try to practice gratitude. We know the positive effects which it has, so it is beneficial to practice not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every other day. Gratitude is a gift. A gift for others and most importantly, a gift for yourself.
Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profits organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.