In a recent Wall Street Journal article, “Thank You. No, Thank You,” we learn that giving thanks is good for you. Not a big surprise, but post-Thanksgiving, it’s nice to be reminded that cultivating appreciation and thankfulness is a win-win all year round. While this article reveals what most of us already know from our life experience (and common sense), it’s interesting that actual studies demonstrate that when we experience gratitude we’re healthier, happier, sleep better (and even earn more money). Cultivating gratitude is good for kids and teens, too; not exactly a surprise, but something we might want to help our adolescents, in particular, to experience. In our family, we have made it a ritual to hold hands before dinner and each say something we’re grateful for. Unfortunately, too often, the answers have became rote, but I have insisted on the ritual nonetheless. I think it’s important.
On Thanksgiving morning before anyone else in the family awoke, I spent some time reflecting upon what I was grateful for. I composed an email to the staff of the Institute for Humane Education where I work, because my gratitude to them felt so deep I had to express it. And it felt so good to compose this expression of thanks. Then I took my dogs for a walk along the ocean and continued thinking about all that I was grateful for, and I noticed that I was smiling as I walked. Indeed, gratitude feels great.
So, post-Thanksgiving, remember to reflect upon your own gratitude each day. It will help make your life, and the world, a better place.
With thanks to those of you who read my blog
Author of Most Good, Least Harm and Above All, Be Kind
Image courtesy of cheerytomato via Creative Commons.
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