The Importance of Being Thankful

It’s Thanksgiving Season! It’s the day we all sit around the table and list what all we are thankful for. And that is always a good thing. In this day and age, I am certainly thankful, for example, that:

  • my husband and I both have good jobs,
  • my family is basically in good health,
  • my children are doing well in school,
  • God is providing for all of our needs, and even some of our wants.
  • We have good, reliable vehicles,
  • We own our own home.

I am not meaning to minimize these at all.

But especially with all the problems in the world today, and a lot of people struggling to find anything to be thankful for, some may think, “What good does it do to be thankful? There are too many wars, natural disasters, tragedies, homelessness, joblessness, hunger, etc.” And this is certainly true. So why should we be thankful? I have found several reasons, but here are just a few.

  • I was raised to give thanks where thanks are due. God has done so much for my family this year, even just in the little things, that it would be selfish and ungrateful of me not to give thanks.
  • There are a ton of health benefits, not just to saying thanks once a year, but living with an “attitude of gratitude.”
  1. Gratitude lowers stress levels. Stress is responsible for a myriad of common health conditions, so lowering stress helps:
  2. Blood pressure – Lowering stress lowers blood pressure by decreasing the “fight or flight” response to stress.
  3. Gratitude improves mood and happiness, which leads to less depression.
  4. Gratitude tends to foster a positive outlook, which WebMD says has been shown to even improve the immune system. ( )
  5. Listing things you are thankful for when you go to bed can help you sleep better.
  • Gratitude helps improve friendships and team spirit.
  • Grateful people also tend to be more helpful and kind.

I am going to try to remember to keep an “attitude of gratitude” throughout the year, not just at Thanksgiving. Some days this will be easier than others, but as with anything else, practice makes perfect. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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