I find it ironic that the day after the day we’ve set aside to celebrate thankfulness is the biggest commercial retail day of the year. It can be easy to lose perspective, and I try my best to remember the things that I am thankful for. I think that this is an important practice for the whole year, not just Thanksgiving. The Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy share a beautiful practice called the Thanksgiving Address (Stokes,1993). It’s a ritual performed for the purpose of expressing the gratitude that someone feels for the people in their life and the natural world around them. It’s a reminder that it is far healthier to cultivate a feeling of thankfulness, than it is to revel in the longing for the things that we do not have. In an article in Forbes Magazine, psychotherapist Amy Morin (2014) describes seven benefits of gratitude.
-Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
-Gratitude can improve physical health by reducing stress.
-Gratitude can improve psychological health.
-Feelings of gratitude can help improve sleep.
-Gratitude can improve self esteem.
-Being grateful can increase mental strength and resilience.
So remember this holiday season to take a little bit of time to think about the the things that you are thankful for. It’ll benefit you in more ways than one!
John Windsor – Mandt Faculty
Morin, A. (2014, November). 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude that will motivate you to give thanks year-round. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/amymorin/2014/11/23/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-of-gratitude-that-will-motivate-you-to-give-thanks-year-round/#26dd2c41183c
Stokes, J. (1993). Thanksgiving address: greetings to the natural world. Onchiota, NY. Six Nations Indian Museum.