This time of year, we are reminded to give thanks for all that we have. But did you know that giving thanks can also have a positive impact on your health and well-being?
Studies have shown that gratitude can lower blood pressure, improve heart health, improve mental health, reduce stress, and even boost your immune system.
We’re not just talking about feeling thankful when something good happens, either. Genuine gratitude has to do with appreciating the good things in life, even when times are tough.
So, this Thanksgiving, we encourage you to take a moment to reflect on all the things you’re grateful for— big or small.
Trust us, your mind and body will thank you for it!
The Science of Gratitude
It’s no secret that exercise is good for our physical health. What you may not know is that gratitude can also be a powerful form of “exercise” for our mind and body. Just like our muscles, our brain gets stronger with use.
When we focus on being grateful, we are actually training our brain to notice the good in life and to focus less on the negative.
This cycle of negativity can have serious consequences for our physical health if left unchecked. Thankfully, gratitude can help break this cycle by promoting positive emotions like joy and happiness.
In turn, these positive emotions can lead to healthier behaviors like exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep—all of which contribute to better overall physical health.
Gratitude also strengthens our social relationships. When we take the time to express our appreciation for others, they feel valued and important. This sense of connection is crucial for our mental and emotional well-being.
In fact, people who have strong social relationships are happier, live longer, and have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life.
Why This Thanksgiving We’re Thankful for Our Communities
From the food we enjoy to the family and friends we share it with, there are plenty of reasons to give thanks this holiday season. Here at The Emmanuel Osemota Foundation (EOF), we’re especially thankful for our local communities in South Florida and Nigeria. Here’s why:
They keep us grounded
No matter how big or small EOF may become, our roots will always be in the local communities. They remind us of our humble beginnings and the reasons why we started doing this work in the first place. Without them, we would have lost sight of our mission long ago.
They inspire us every day
The people in our community, our volunteers, our donors, and the people of South Florida, and Nigeria are some of the most hardworking and resilient people we’ve ever met.
In the poorest communities, despite all the challenges they face on a daily basis, they never give up. They dream of becoming healthier, financially independent, and one day having a bright future and a better life.
We are inspired by their strength and determination, and we are committed to doing whatever we can to help them.
They make our work worthwhile
EOF supports local governments by creating opportunities for community members and seeking to empower them wherever possible.
Every time we see the smile on a child’s face or the relief from men and women receiving much-needed high-quality healthcare, we know that everything we do is worth it.
The happiness and well-being of these communities are the heart of everything we do, and we are nothing without them.
They teach us valuable lessons
The people in our community have taught us so much over the years – about life, about love, about what it really means to be grateful for what you have. We are truly better people for having known them, and we will be forever thankful for the lessons they’ve taught us.
They are like family to us
Over the years, the people in our community have become like family to us. We care about them deeply and want nothing more than to see them thrive. We are so grateful to have them in our lives and can’t imagine doing this work without them by our side.
This Thanksgiving season, remember that giving thanks isn’t just something you do—it’s something you can actively practice every day to improve your physical and mental health.
We hope you’ll join us in giving thanks to all the amazing people in our local community who make our work possible – including you! Thank you for your continued support – without you, none of this would be possible!
From all of us here at The Emmanuel Osemota Foundation, we hope you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
Written by: Emmanuel J. Osemota