The goodness in gratitude



Messenger Staff

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It is quite literally a day that is celebrated by eating a smorgasbord of food. What’s not to like? Every year I anticipate the helpings of roasted turkey and cherry glazed ham along with savory & sweet side dishes to satisfy every taste that I have.

Although Thanksgiving won my stomach over first, it began to win my heart over as I got older. Now that I am grown, I’ve come to appreciate Thanksgiving for a different reason entirely. I’m fond of the holiday now for its symbolic meaning. It’s a time of year when we are supposed to practice gratitude for the things we have, something we may forget to do within the hustle and bustle of our own lives.

The word gratitude comes from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness or gratefulness depending on the context. Gratitude itself is defined as the quality of being thankful; the readiness to show appreciation for something and to return a kindness that was given to you. Even though we are a few months away from Thanksgiving, we can practice being grateful every day. After all there is goodness in gratitude.

It may be to your benefit to practice gratitude more often. Studies have shown that people who practice gratitude on a regular basis are generally happier. This may be because when people are grateful, they acknowledge that there is good in the world by giving thanks to the gifts and benefits they receive within their lives. This act of giving thanks promotes positive emotions which can improve your overall health, help you relish in good experiences, deal with adversity, and help strengthen your relationship with others.

Sometimes it’s hard to acknowledge the good in life when things aren’t going your way. If you find that you get lost in negative thoughts or are suffering from depression or anxiety, setting some time aside to practice gratitude everyday can help alleviate you from a negative headspace.

People experience gratitude in different ways, so it’s important to make physical or mental notes about what you are grateful for. You can be grateful for past experiences and use the memories to generate positivity. You can give thanks in the present for the things you currently have whether that is a car, a home, a loving significant other, children, or just being able to come home to a cuddly pet. You can also use gratitude to be grateful for the future. We are never guaranteed tomorrow but giving thanks to the possibility of tomorrow can ensure that we do not take our days for granted.

If things are going wrong and you are down on your luck, it just may help to ask yourself one good question, “What am I grateful for today?”

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