Why Give Thanks?

Why Give Thanks?
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

Frankly, there is a lot to be upset about right now. I don’t need to remind you what’s wrong with the world or how it has impacted you. Perhaps you’d rather rant, pout, cry or scream during this time of Thanksgiving.

Go ahead. SCREAM!

Are you done?

By the way, have you noticed the beauty of the fall colours? Do you appreciate the sound of the crispy leaves under your feet, or the musty smells of the season? They’re here too.

Giving thanks is not fluffy woo woo. It comes with a long list of psychological, physical and social benefits, . . . perhaps you’ve heard. Gratitude has been heavily researched and written about for good reason. Here’s a detailed article.

Gratitude has been shown to reduce pain, improve sleep quality and contribute to the regulation of stress. It changes the neural structures in the brain. For example, when we express or receive gratitude our brain releases two chemicals, dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions. They can enhance our mood immediately.

Sometimes it can take a little time and practice to reap the benefits. If you operate more from your head than your heart, know that you need to feel gratitude, not just think about it. Allow gratitude to penetrate your being.

This Thanksgiving 0f 2020 is like no other. We are actually discouraged from gathering and sharing food. It’s crazy! So while you might be sad about that, feel free to dig deep to recognize what is good.

If you’re struggling to feel thankful orient yourself to the present moment. Try going outdoors and tuning into your senses. Notice what’s right with you, your friends, family and the world. Look for small gifts. You just might find some.

“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey