December is the time of year when we pause to be grateful, but if we shift from gratitude as a passing season to a way to live daily, science says the mental, physical and emotional health benefits are plentiful.

Eastern and Western healing traditions have long incorporated gratitude as part of a holistic wellness strategy. Gratitude reduces our hassles in life and work (as well as our complaints), decreases anxiety and depression, and increases the feel-good neurotransmitters in our brains. When we’re grateful, our brain region for empathy lights up, enabling us to walk in other people’s shoes.

Click here for tips on how to practice more gratitude—from trying loving-kindness meditation or simple journaling.

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