Take time today to give thanks — it’s good for you

So many people are stressed out today about so many things:

  • why is my brother always late?
  • will these lumps come out of the gravy?
  • can you even believe how long that security line was at the airport?

In a country of people who don’t really cook, we maintain this annual tradition of huge dinner parties, making foods many of us don’t prepare any other time of year.

So here’s my advice: take a deep breath and remember that Thanksgiving is about giving thanks.

A recent AP story by science writer Seth Borenstein shows it’s not just a quaint pleasantry to give thanks — it’s good for you:

“Oprah was right,” said University of Miami psychology professor Michael McCullough, who has studied people who are asked to be regularly thankful. “When you are stopping and counting your blessings, you are sort of hijacking your emotional system.”

Grateful people “feel more alert, alive, interested, enthusiastic. They also feel more connected to others,” said (Robert) Emmons, who has written two books on the science of gratitude and often studies the effects of those gratitude diaries.

The last two years, I prepared for Thanksgiving by doing a month of daily posts about gratitude, so this is clearly something I believe in.

If you want a little inspiration while you’re waiting for the turkey to thaw, here are some of my favorite past blog posts about gratitude:

And because it makes me smile, here’s a re-run of a prayer of thanksgiving you probably won’t hear at your dinner table today:

Thanks to you for reading! I’m really grateful for your time.

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Categories: health and well being, lifestyle

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3 replies

  1. I am so poor right now that I had to siphon the gas out of my lawn mower for my car, just to get to the store so I could use leftover car change for eggs and milk. But I was thankful there was gas to take in the first place. When I got home I was cleaning my nightstand and I found a $10 bill stashed in my Melody Beattie book “Journey to the Heart”, so I went back to the store and bought a pumpkin and condensed milk and made a deluxe pie, the crust made out of shredded wheat, corn flakes and granola, all buttery and crunchy. With the $2 left over I went to the dollar store and got some Made-in-China Holly Berry potpourri oil and hacked my empty Glade Plugin Candle so we would have a holiday woodsy scent in the house. That’s Thanksgiving for you. Now I have $0 but I’m still safe and warm with pie and homey smells. I used to make $80K a year as a New York City art director but I feel richer now than I’ve ever felt. It’s all inside.

    • What beautiful perspective, Scott. You’re living life on your own terms and giving thanks for that instead of resenting not having the path others have chosen.

      I love that you chose to spend a found $10 on pie and potpourri oil — an interesting statement on what matters most. Safe, warm, homey smells. Nice.

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