I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
- G.K. Chesterton
Happy Thanksgiving! What are you most thankful for today: your family, your health, your faith, your right to vote, your job? Last month a billion people across the globe were filled with gratitude and joy as we watched 33 men emerge from nearly a half mile underground (after enduring 69 days of dark separation) to the light and comfort of their loved ones! Can you imagine how happy they were to see their families, to be able to walk on the earth, to breathe fresh air...so many ordinary activities we often take for granted?
Research shows that the more a person is inclined to gratitude, the less likely he or she is to be depressed, anxious, lonely or jealous of others. You simply cannot be grateful and fearful at the same time.
There are at least three ways to grow in gratitude, the quickest way to grow in happiness:
- notice the people and events in your daily life that cause you to be thankful
- express your gratitude to everyone who makes a positive difference
- notice the many ways you also give to others
When you count your blessings—from seeing a beautiful sunset, to having eyes that can see—your gratitude and joy will increase.
Having a thankful attitude can help you cope with stress and loss, as well as help you build stronger bonds with others. EAP counselors can help you find practical ways to increase your positive relationships with others and learn more about your own unique gifts and abilities. Call today to make an appointment. You will be on your way to truly celebrate the wonderful holiday called Thanksgiving.
If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice.
- Meister Eckhart
Susan Erdman, LCSW, CEAP, is an EAP counselor for Methodist Employee Assistance Program. All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and not of their employer. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Call 888.777.5959 for more information.