November 17, 2013 by Rose Cook
I love Thanksgiving! As a kid I loved it because it meant that next up was the jolly guy with the white beard and big red suit. Now as an adult, I still love that it’s the beginning of the Christmas season, but more importantly, it’s a wonderful time to take stock of my life. It’s been a whirlwind of a year and I’m very grateful for all of my blessings. I know I’m not alone in feeling extra thankful at this time of year.
I recently read an article that discussed how being grateful and counting our blessings can actually be good for our health. Research has shown that gratitude for what we have in our lives can shift the focus from what may be lacking. Essentially,emphasis on the positive can minimize the negative. A study conducted by psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael
McCollough divided several hundred people into three groups. Each group was instructed to keep a daily journal with an emphasis on one of three areas. One group was asked to record their choice of any events that occurred throughout their day, one group only recorded negative events that occurred and the third group recorded only the positive things that occurred. The results showed that those who kept a daily “gratitude” journal were more enthusiastic, optimistic and energetic. Also, the lucky folks in this group experienced less stress and depression and were more successful in reaching personal goals. Dr. Emmons’ research also showed that those who express gratitude as a regular practice tend to be more able to recover from adversity, are more creative and have stronger social relationships.
It seems as though there’s no down side to being thankful and grateful! And the best part is that even though it may not be a part of your regular routine to give thanks, it’s an easy fix. It’s never too late to start expressing gratitude by appreciating the little things in life. And there’s no better time to begin than Thanksgiving!