I’ll never forget a Thanksgiving sermon by Reverend Will Saunders. He said that although we imagine the pilgrims were grateful because they survived the harsh conditions of their new world, perhaps we should reflect on the possibility that they survived because they were grateful.
Now is that a mere play on words? a cause and effect riddle? Or is it a statement about the profound and powerful effects of gratitude? Research studies link gratitude with higher levels of happiness, resilience, and overall well-being.
I can attest to the benefits. I have a nightly gratitude practice that I affectionately call “Rest in Peace.” With my head on the pillow, I list 3 or more things from my day that deserve my thanks. Not only does this help me rest peacefully, it shines the flashlight of my attention on the bounty in my life rather than on the stresses.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful gratitude holiday, but thankfulness can be a daily affair. For me, focusing on my life’s abundance and blessings reminds me that my cup does indeed runneth over. This habit brings my calm and peaceful self alive. You could say that my very survival depends on it.
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