By John Thurman
“Give thanks to the Lord,
for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16: 34
“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather amount of Gratitude.” A.A. Kline, Winnie-the-Pooh
I love this time of year; Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for four reasons. First, it is an important reminder of the uniqueness of the founding of what would become the United States America. Second, It is a time of reflection to remember that there is one primary source of blessing, and that is the Lord. Third, it begins, at least in my mind, the Christmas season. Fourth, science is now showing us how much celebrating Thanksgiving and the practice of gratitude can help elevate our sense of happiness.
Here is a quote about gratitude from my book, Get a Grip on Depression,
“Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done…” are words from a hymn I remember from my childhood while attending the First Baptist Church of Fort Valley. It is an old song with modern psychological and spiritual implications.
Gratitude makes your life happier and more satisfying. When we feel gratitude, we benefit from the pleasant memory of a positive event. In addition, when we express our gratitude to others, we strengthen our relationship with them.”
Here are some of the benefits of giving thanks, or having an “attitude of gratitude.”
1. Gratitude is one of the most powerful links with a positive sense of well-being. It increases our spiritual awareness, increases appropriate self-esteem, improves your sleeping patterns, and bumps up your energy levels.
2. Gratitude boosts your health.
3. Gratitude increases your overall sense of satisfaction and happiness by 25%!
4. Gratitude decreases anxiety and depression.
5. Gratitude is a natural antidote to resentment and bitterness.
Thanksgiving Action Plan:
• When you wake up, and before you go to bed, think about five things that you are thankful for. Thank God for them in prayer.
• Send a handwritten note of appreciation to someone in your life.
• Send an appreciative email to a co-worker.
My challenge to you for this Thanksgiving is to express thankfulness and gratitude for all that you have. An “attitude of gratitude” is one of the shortest paths to happiness.