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Why gratitude is more than just corny quotes

Changing a bad day to a good one can be as easy as just saying thanks — for the little things and the big ones. That’s because focusing on what you're grateful for can actually boost your immune system, bring more joy and optimism and generally make you more satisfied with life. 

All the coffee cup quotes about gratitude are 100% true. Science shows us that people who practice gratitude benefit mentally, physically and even socially. It may even be — wait for it — the key to a healthy and happy life. 

And here’s another major benefit: practicing gratitude strengthens your social ties, helping you recognize the people in your life who care about you. And by appreciating the generosity and compassion in others, you're actually building those qualities within yourself. It's really a win-win.

Amazing things can happen when you direct your attention to the good in your life. Here are a few simple ways you can practice feeling grateful:

Write down three things you're grateful for. For best results, go into detail about the people and things you appreciate.

  • Think of someone who’s had a positive impact on your life. Take 10 minutes to write them a letter of thanks. Fill it with details of why you’re grateful and what you appreciate about them. You can even take it a step further and read it to them. If you're worried that it will be awkward, try not to be. You'll probably make their day — and your own!
  • Have you noticed that when you appreciate someone’s kindness it makes you feel kinder toward others? Chalk it up to another benefit of practicing gratitude. Pay it forward to someone whose path you cross. Whether it's running an errand for a friend, leaving a funny note for a coworker or paying for a stranger's coffee, kindness can make YOU feel good.
  • Gratitude isn’t just about embracing the good and ignoring the bad. One way to practice gratitude is to think about a tough time in your life and how far you've come since then. 

Need help with creating and sticking with healthy habits like practicing gratitude? The Attain by AetnaSM app gives you tips, tools and points for making healthier and more mindful choices. Download the AttainSM app today in the App Store. Already using the app? Head over to the “Actions” tab in the app and start building healthy habits today.

This material provides a general overview of the topic. Health information is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a therapist, physician or other health care professional. Contact a health care professional with any questions or concerns about specific health care needs.