Thanksgiving. This most beloved holiday is upon us, looking very differently through the lens of our year 2020. Thankfulness has been a difficult concept to grasp in many ways recently; let alone looking forward to how the holidays will be impacted by our current dynamics. Families may be separated due to inability to travel or be in proximity of each other due to pandemic concerns. Job loss and economic impact also resonate throughout our families, among many other factors. So how do we grasp the heart of ‘Thanksgiving’? Where is the meaning of the holiday?
“The grateful mind reaps massive advantages in life,” Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis and the founder a research lab that studies the effects of grateful living. “Health and wholeness, wellness and fullness result from the systematic practice of a grateful living.” “It literally breathes new life into us. It recharges and it rejuvenates,” Emmons said about gratitude, which he defines as “an affirmation of the goodness in one’s life and the recognition that the sources of this goodness lie at least partially outside the self.”
Essentially, having ‘an attitude of gratitude’ can bring us wellness and ‘breathe new life into us’! Sounds like just the thing we all need, especially moving into an uncertain holiday season! So… now to find and take hold of it!
- Beginning with the above definition: “an affirmation of the goodness in one’s life and the recognition that the sources of this goodness lie at least partially outside the self.” It is not about us!! Finding the simple blessings and reasons to be grateful that surround us continually in the daily mundane can be the first step in finding gratefulness. Taking notice of a beautiful sunrise or sunset, a flower randomly growing on the side of the road, connecting with a loved one virtually or otherwise. Releasing ourselves to the knowledge we have so very many reasons to be grateful amid our hardships, we just need to take notice!
- It is not enough to take notice of reasons to be grateful, we must act! “The word ‘thanksgiving’ literally means, giving of thanks. Thanksgiving is an action word,” Emmons said. “Gratitude requires action.” Giving back to others around us brings us a greater sense of joy and happiness! Telling your co-worker how much you appreciate their collaboration on a daily basis; sharing with your spouse or loved one what you are grateful for about them; maybe even leaving an anonymous thank you note for someone who blesses you routinely… be creative!
- Keep the gratitude going! We do not have to leave the thankfulness of Thanksgiving with the holiday! Start a gratitude journal… make it a consistent pattern in your daily routine to grasp thankfulness! It will not return void!
Mostly, thank you all for all you do every day. Sacrificially. Without selfishness. Whether you are serving in hospice care or another completely different arena, thank you. We are all a part of a greater team and purpose to connect and serve together. I am grateful.
“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” Maya Angelou
Be and remain well,
Deidre McLeod, MS LPC
If your loved ones, friends, or maybe even yourself, are struggling to find your best mental health and ‘thankfulness’, please contact us to schedule an appointment at:
Cornerstone Centers for Wellbeing
Appointment & Information number: 1-866-280-WELL (9355)
All referrals and appointments are strictly confidential.