Transformative Thursdays: Thankfulness Leads to Happiness

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The other day, my 5 year old son said, “Mom, do you know what I’m thankful for?” I said, “What?”. He said, “I’m thankful for God and the Holy Spirit.”  I asked him why was he thankful and he said, “Because they are good.”  So of course, I took the opportunity to explain why God and the Holy Spirit are good and how they help us.

Particularly during the month of November, we pause and reflect on the things for which we are grateful.  I was a little surprised that my son shared his thoughts and that He’s grateful for things that matter.  What are you grateful for? What blessings have come into your life?

Research shows that people who are grateful and regularly reflect on their blessings are happier and generally feel better.

*According to an article by Harvard Health Publishing, “two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics.

One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.”

Consider taking a few moments each day and listing one or two things you are grateful for.  You could even take it a step further and show gratitude to someone who you appreciate. It might involve a note, phone call, text message or coffee date. If you consistently reflect on the good things in your life, you’ll reflect less on what’s wrong and have a happier countenance and brighter outlook.

* https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier

 

*Coletta Jones Patterson is a speaker, life strategist, business coach, author and business executive who is passionate about helping others get unstuck.  Her latest book “Beyond Stuck: Creating the Life You Want” is available on Amazon.

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