How the power of gratitude affects our spiritual wellness

In UVU’s Hall of Flags, leaf-shaped papers cover the windows of the Resource Center. Written on each of these leaves is something that a UVU student is grateful for. Why have students done it?

“Gratitude leaves” plaster the Resource Center window in the Hall of Flags. What are you grateful for this holiday season?

Since it is National Gratitude Month and Thanksgiving is fast approaching, we are encouraged to embrace the power of thankfulness and focus on giving back for what we have.

In UVU’s Hall of Flags, leaf-shaped papers cover the windows of the Resource Center. Written on each of these leaves is something that a UVU student is grateful for. The Review had the chance to speak with a few of these students and ask why they chose to do it, and how they think gratitude affects their spiritual wellness.  

“Focusing on what you’re grateful for forces you to look at the positive in your life instead of focusing on the negative, which creates a more positive outlook on life in general,” Gabby, a sophomore, explained when stating why she chose to focus on giving thanks. 

Somre, a junior, said, “I critique my past and get anxious and eager about my future. I think gratitude makes me more present and [helps me] live in the moment.” 

Dianne, another junior, said, “Gratitude makes me happy [and] makes me realize how wonderful my life is. When I’m happy, I feel better, get sick less, and life is good!”

Many students mentioned feeling happier when they had an attitude of gratitude. What happens to the brain when we give thanks? According to University of Utah Health, “gratitude can make people happier, improve relationships, and potentially even counteract depression and suicidal thoughts. Gratitude can also boost self-esteem.” Furthermore, studies from UC Davis Health have shown that when we are grateful, we are less likely to abuse alcohol or other drugs. 

If you’re ever feeling down, go on a gratitude rampage and think about the blessings in your life — even if it is something simple, like being able to slow down for a moment and breathe.  Managing your thoughts and being grateful will leave you feeling happier and healthier. After all, according to Eckhart Tolle, an acclaimed spiritual leader, “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” 

Do you want to start expressing your gratitude? Visit the Hall of Flags today and write down what you’re most grateful for.

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