It’s Thanksgiving week. You know what that means - there is going to be a lot of conversation about gratitude and what we are thankful for. Whether or not you are the type of person who enjoys the topic of “gratitude” or someone who gets irritated at all this gratitude, thankfulness is something you need to deal with. Good!
Gratitude heals, energizes, and transforms lives. Research has firmly established that grateful people are less bothered by aches and pains, have lower blood pressure, are more refreshed from sleep, are more joyful, experience more pleasure, and are more connected with others. Bob Emmons, a leading gratitude researcher, says that gratitude is the ‘remind’ and ‘bind’ emotion that reminds us who have done things for you. It binds us together, connects us to others, and connects others to us.
There is no doubt gratitude is good, so why don't we do it?
My difficulties with eating vegetables might just be like many of our difficulties with gratitude. I, unfortunately, have tied a lot of my vegetable intake to other foods. If I eat a vegetable first, then I can have a _____. What I’m trying to move more frequently to is to have vegetables beautifully set out on my plate, taking up a large portion of the space, inviting me to enjoy them. After a while, they will be a part of my life. It will also hopefully be an easier part of my life in a way that is more natural, along with the vegetables being good and nutritious. Gratitude, when fully formed, becomes a part of who we are and how we live, not just a task to complete to get to other things in life.
As we lean into gratitude, we are able to see life within a new lens. Emmons goes on to say, “When I see life as full of gifts and I’m a receiver—our entire life is one big gift—it enables me to organize my experience. Seeing myself as the recipient of giftedness as well as a potential giver of my own gifts onto other people—that constitutes my identity: a recipient as well as a giver of grace.”
Don’t overthink it, work on being more grateful.
Yes, this is just another gratitude article, and that is okay. Gratitude is simple, but it is profound.
Not sure where to start? Here 10 Ways to Become More Grateful.
-Dr. Andrew Cuthbert