November Brings A Month of Gratefulness

The Center for Student Wellness and Counseling Services invites all NEOMED students to participate in “A Month of Gratefulness” at the tables located outside of Watanakunakorn Auditorium.

  • World Kindness Day, Nov. 13: Write a note to benefit a sick child at Akron Children’s Hospital or for a senior citizen at a local nursing home. Note cards and supplies will be available all day.
  • Hang a Leaf-Give One Away, Nov. 1-30: Students are encouraged to write a message of gratitude to clip to the message boards. Or perhaps write a note of thanks to give away to a fellow classmate, staff member, faculty, friend, relative or significant other. Messages may be anonymous or signed; the choice is yours!

We all have the ability and opportunity to cultivate gratitude. Take a few moments to focus on all that you have. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve satisfaction with your life. Whether one writes a few sentences of gratitude or simply takes a moment to silently acknowledge all that they have, giving thanks can transform a person’s life by:

  • Opening the door to more relationships. A 2014 study published in Emotion found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship and lead to new opportunities.
  • Improving physical health. Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences.
  • Improving psychological health. Robert Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
  • Improving sleep. Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
  • Improving self-esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, an essential component to optimal performance. Other studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who have more money or better jobs—a major factor in reduced self-esteem—grateful people are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.
  • Enhancing empathy and reduces aggression. Grateful people are more likely to behave in a prosocial manner, even when others behave less kindly, according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky.
  • Increasing mental strength. For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma. A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of post-traumatic stress disorder. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the terrorist attacks on September 11. Recognizing all that you are thankful for —even during the worst times—fosters resilience.

For more details on this month-long activity, contact counseling@neomed.edu.

Be sure to check The Pulse for more information about these and other monthly events happening on or around the NEOMED campus!

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To make an appointment with Counseling Services, call 330.325.6757, or email counseling@neomed.edu.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, or if you are experiencing an emotional or psychiatric crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Crisis Text Line – Text 741-741 for immediate, anonymous and free assistance. Information about the Crisis Text Line FAQ – Texting In.

Reference: Morin, Amy (2015, April 3) 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude. 

-Submitted by Dana Whittlesey

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