A Whole Season For Gratitude!
For at least a couple of weeks in November, our thoughts turn to Thanksgiving. This despite the encroaching “bigger” holidays soon to come. My husband & I have made it a point to talk about the significance of Thanksgiving to our family, & the highlight of the day is to share with each other, around the dinner table, what we are each most thankful for. This takes pretty much the entire eating time, since there are quite a few of us now, & we all love to talk! But also, we do have MUCH to be thankful for.
It turns out that all this gratitude is really good for human beings, even beyond the emotional/spiritual benefit. I recently had the pleasure of hearing a lecture by a well-known therapist & author, Harville Hendrix, PhD. In this talk, Dr. Hendrix drew strong connections between good experiences in childhood, based on parents’ acceptance & listening, and good emotional & PHYSICAL health in adulthood.
He also spoke of the harmful effects of negativity, relating it to stress. We’ve all heard about the effects of stress on our physical health, right? But the conclusion of all this was that in order to move from judgement & negativity to “curiosity & appreciation,” it is necessary for us to REPLACE negativity (because we can’t have just emptiness here!) with GRATITUDE! Gratitude is also a strong Biblical theme, by the way.
I admit that I’m pretty excited about all of this. Consciously replacing a negative thought with a prayer or expression of thanks has turned me around on too many occasions to count. Several of my facebook friends have been posting a sort of gratitude journal over these past few days, & I love it! And as a bonus, I imagine that they will also enjoy good physical health. SALUD!