Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, even those who don't celebrate the holiday. I hope you all have a wonderful day and appreciate the many blessings in your life, starting with having a life and the cognitive ability to understand this sentiment.

Thanksgiving is about more than stuffing your face, time with family, and (for some) watching football (American). It was celebrated originally by the European settlers to North America who were helped by the natives to survive in a land that was new to them. It was an innocent time when those people were grateful to simply survive. They didn't judge one another based on skin color or political or religious affiliation but simply shared resources and were grateful to be alive. (I'm sure it wasn't perfect, but they did give thanks for what they had.)

That is the spirit of the holiday--gratitude. That is something that we should practice every day, but this day has been set aside as a U.S. holiday, and it should not be forsaken nor corrupted. Gratitude in all that we have is something we should feel every morning that we wake up, another day to live.

According to Psychology Today:

Psychologists find that, over time, feeling grateful boosts happiness and fosters both physical and psychological health, even among those already struggling with mental health problems. Studies show that practicing gratitude curbs the use of words expressing negative emotions and shifts inner attention away from such negative emotions as resentment and envy, minimizing the possibility of ruminating over them (a hallmark of depression). 
Further, the beneficial effects snowball over time. Brain scans of people assigned a task that stimulates expression of gratitude show lasting changes in the prefrontal cortex that heighten sensitivity to future experiences of gratitude. The emotion literally pays itself forward.

Gratitude is the key to joy. So, celebrate all that is worthwhile in your life--family, health, life, and all the little blessings that come your way--and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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