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Health Benifits of Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is often an overlooked holiday - stuck between Halloween and Christmas.

But, it is one of my most favorite holidays.

Halloween and Christmas are great, don’t get me wrong, but both of these holidays tend to be centered more around ‘what’s in it for me’, - such as candy and gifts.

Thanksgiving on the other hand is centered solely around family and gratitude. Of course, everyone expects a delicious meal but everyone is also a little more thoughtful about their blessings.

Since November is the month of gratitude, let’s look at why being grateful is so important to our emotional and physical wellbeing.

I like this short video by Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California at Davis and leading researcher in the growing field of positive psychology. He says:

1.       Gratitude allows celebration of the present.
a.       Involves the appreciation of the value of something.
b.      We become more of a participator than a spectator.
2.       Gratitude blocks negative (toxic) emotions – envy, resentment, regret, depression.
a.       Reduces the occurrence and severity of depression.
b.      Gratitude is the opposite of these and toxic emotions cannot exist when gratitude is present.
3.       Grateful people are more stress-resilient.
a.       A person can recover faster from trauma, adversity, suffering, and anxiety if gratitude is a part of them.
b.      Gives them perspective to help them interpret life’s events.
4.       Gratitude strengthens social ties and self-worth.
a.       Someone is looking out for me.

To demonstrate my point, take a look around at people.

Those who are running around like a chicken turkey with its head cut off are ranting about all that’s wrong in the world. Being around them creates an uncomfortable feeling and sometimes I get upset at their negative tone. They have very little to say about being grateful for all that’s good in the world.

Now look at those you enjoy being with. Why do you enjoy being with them? Does their conversation show a depth of gratitude? Are they calming and grounded? I being around these kind of people.

This Thanksgiving let’s gather around our table and express gratitude for the blessings we have.

Here is my family’s favorite way to make expressing gratitude on Thanksgiving Day fun-

1.       Enlarge, print and color the turkey. Image Source.
2.       Cut off the tail feathers and separate them into individual feathers.
3.       Pass the feathers around the table and have everyone write what they are grateful for on the feathers.
4.       Glue or tape the feathers back on the turkey and display for the coming week!

What are some of your Thanksgiving gratitude traditions?

How will you be spending Thanksgiving this year?

If seeing the good around you is difficult and you would love a change please contact me today!

All my best to you,