Thanksgiving is coming quickly! It’s one of my favorite Holidays of the year……and not just because of all the delicious food!
It’s a day to focus on all that we have been blessed with over the past year. To give thanks. When our three children were still at home, we’d go around the table and state two or three things/people/events we greatly appreciate.
Hopefully, that Thanksgiving ritual helped instill a healthier perspective for our kids.
Gratitude, however, doesn’t need to be contained to one day, one week, one month.
One of the most significant lessons I have been privileged to learn from my AA clients is the daily discipline of keeping a gratitude journal. Sever of these good folks have relayed to me the emotional and spiritual benefit of jotting down a few things every day..for which they express thanks. Those things can be significant or everyday blessings like clean water, electricity, a functional car, etc.
These clients consistently label this process…practicing the attitude of gratitude. I like that.
There is scientific data that indicates this practice can provide several benefits. One study I heard about referenced a measurable change in brain chemistry…increased oxytocin…the love hormone. This specific hormone helps”connect people”.
A UCLA study concluded this regular practice of gratitude had at least five positive effects for people:
1) reduction in depression
2) lessen feelings of anxiety
3) supports heart health
4) relief from stress
5) improvement of sleep cycles.
This data was based coding responses from over 26,000 people. I routinely begin my days with thanking God for all He has provided for me and my family…even our squirrelly dog, Red. However you express gratitude, I would encourage you to make it a daily habit. Journaling, redirecting your self talk, giving others a compliment or thanks for a job well done….all can contribute to a healthier life.
And…by the way…save some turkey for me.