Thursday was Thanksgiving here in the United States and for many, this meant a day spent with family eating lots of delicious food. There were games, laughing, talking, joking and lots of fun but few took the time to express thanks. Many have forgotten the purpose of the holiday and it has now become just a day to overindulge. For some, it was an opportunity to be thankful. Let’s not leave our thankfulness at the Thanksgiving table but take this attitude with us throughout the year.
What does it mean to be thankful or to have gratitude? Webster’s Dictionary defines gratitude as being thankful. Scientist are discovering that an “attitude of gratitude” has many benefits. Recent research has found that those who practice and cultivate an attitude of gratitude have less financial difficulties are more emotionally stable, are less greedy, have fewer episodes of depression, and have more energy. In addition, they sleep more soundly, have better immune systems, exercise more, and are less likely to be an alcoholic and are much happier than those who do not cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Similar results were found in children. Children who cultivate the attitude of gratitude have better grades, focus less on material things, set higher goals in life and complained of fewer aches and pains.
There are many ways to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. One method is to develop a gratitude journal or a blessings journal. In this journal you take the time daily to write about the things for which you are grateful, Another method that I have heard of is the gratitude stone. In this method, one carries around a small stone and each time they feel it or remember it they recount what they are thankful for. Writing a gratitude list, recounting one’s blessings before going to sleep, making visits and thanking those whom we are grateful for are other ways one can cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
One of the most impacting ways that you can cultivate and attitude of gratitude is to practice positive thoughts. Instead of focusing on the bad in the situation choose to see the good in it. If you cannot find the good while you are in the situation, then choose not to say anything. During this season of thankfulness let us pledge to remain thankful, for in so doing you are creating a healthier you so that you can be healthy for life.