The Butler VA Health Care System hosted a Gratitude Journaling Workshop for Veterans for National Gratitude Month and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
A gratitude journal includes writing down positive experiences or listing things of appreciation.
Gratitude can improve health in many ways and helping Veterans practice gratitude is an important component of VA’s Whole Health program.
“Gratitude has benefits for whole person wellness. Physically, gratitude can improve your energy levels and help you sleep better,” said Karen Justi, Butler VA’s Whole Health Program Manager. “Practicing gratitude can also improve your mood by decreasing your chances of having depression and anxiety.”
There are many different gratitude practices. Here are five simple ways to get started:
- Start a gratitude journal by writing down three things every day that you are thankful for.
- Say thank you for all gestures of kindness offered to you today.
- Write a short note, email, or text message to someone who is important to you and let them know how much you appreciate them.
- Stop and savor the moment when you are walking outside on a nice day.
- Put a visual reminder where you will see it every day that prompts you to feel grateful.
“As we approach Thanksgiving, consider expressing gratitude to others and yourself… ‘What can you thank your body, your mind, and/or your spirit for?’” said Justi. “There’s no wrong way to start a daily gratitude practice.”
The Butler VA Health Care System offers Whole Health resources, workshops, one-on-one support with a whole health coach, and more. Veterans should talk to their health care team or visit www.va.gov/wholehealth to get started.