THANKSGIVING IS EVERY DAY:
TRANSFORMATION THROUGH GRATITUDE
…the problem is, we celebrate Thanksgiving on this one day, but it’s something we should be celebrating every day.
—Dr. Gary Welton
What is this new sub-discipline of psychology called positive psychology?
Positive psychology was developed as recently as 1998 to seek understanding of the fulfilling aspects of the human experience. It counteracts psychology’s historic focus on mental illness and dysfunction.*
Psychologists Robert Emmons and Robert Stern, upon reviewing the research on the benefits of gratitude, concluded that gratitude has …dramatic and lasting benefits in both the physical and psychological realms.*
Physically (an attitude of gratitude) can
- lower blood pressure
- improve immune functioning
- increase energy
Psychologically (an attitude of gratitude) can
- reduce depression, anxiety, and substance abuse
- provide protection from the destructive impulses of envy, resentment, and bitterness
- may offer some protection against psychiatric disorders
(An attitude of gratitude) is larger than the effects of optimism, hope, or compassion. It
- promotes happiness, altruism, joy, love, and enthusiasm
- impacts our relationships with persons around us
- impacts our relationship with our God
Perhaps the strong effect of gratitude is because it is inherently relational rather than being self-centered. Gratitude is an expression of selflessness as I move beyond the core of selfishness of my being and express thanks to my creator and to those around me.
How can you develop an attitude of gratitude not only on Thanksgiving but as a daily habit?
An immediate thought occurred to me as I thought about this question: for every ungrateful thought or activity, commit two positive thoughts of gratitude.
- start a gratitude journal
- set a jar on your desk or counter in which you daily place a dated slip of paper on which you’ve written at least one thing you are thankful for
- say thank you frequently
- write a letter of thanks
- schedule gratitude moments
- buoy someone else.
If you celebrate Thanksgiving every day everyone will be grateful. That is, everyone except the turkey.
A final thought: Be Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of out Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
More hints on ways to develop gratitude can be found at
- http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/ illustration