Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States.  In all things give thanks is the meaning of this day. It is a day to be thankful for the harvest that has been completed which will sustain us for another year. It is also a day of thanks giving for all the people who’ve helped us this past year, or helped us at any time.  It is a day of thanks giving to our Creator who has blessed us with his prosperity.

Throughout the world, all cultures end the harvest season and set aside a day to give thanks.

Give thanks for all the people who have appeared in your life.

People, who have helped you become a better person, do a task better, taught you a new skill, or saved you from making a mistake.


Give thanks with a grateful heart

Often giving thanks manifests as an emotional reaction to aIn-all-things-give-thanks-robert-bob-stafford favorable event or outcome. Giving thanks can be a way of life.

A conscious effort to give thanks daily will make you happier and healthier. This has been documented by scientific research.

Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis and Michael McCullough of the University of Miami conducted the study in 2003.

You can see the entire report by tapping here.

Participants kept a record of what they were grateful for. Others were asked to keep a list of the hassles in their lives.

At the conclusion of the study those in the gratitude group had a more positive outlook on life, exercised more and reported fewer physical problems.

Emmons compiled a list of health data points from his study along with others’ studies on gratitude.   Here is a partial list of his findings:

  • Practicing gratitude is related to 23 percent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
  • A 7 percent reduction in biomarkers of inflammation in patients with congestive heart failure.
  • Reductions in depression and blood pressure
  • Improvement in sleep quality among those with chronic pain and insomnia.

In all things give thanks

Emmons suggests that the best way to practice giving thanks is to continually thank all those people who have helped you.

One easy exercise is to sit in a quiet place and write down the names of those who have in some way helped you. Those people who have done things for you that you could have never done for yourself.

Who is looking out for me?

Who always has my back?

Who and what do I take for granted?

Who has made life easier for me because of their sacrifices?

Who believed in your skills?  Maybe a skill you didn’t even realize you have?

Who pointed out something you were doing wrong and showed you the proper way to do it?

Who do you call for help with your computer?

Who you go to for advice?

I am sure you can think of others besides the ones I’ve listed.

Once you begin to really think, a lot of people have helped you in the past year and though out your life will be written on your sheet of paper.

Feeling thankful is not the same as giving thanks.

They are worlds apart.

It takes effort to intentionally stop what you are doing and say “Yes, I received this gift and I am thankful for it.”

Thankfulness isn’t a feeling, it’s an action.  Go back to the giver and acknowledge specifically what they gave you. The credit needs to go to the one who gave it.

Practice being non-self-absorbed person. Non-grateful people are self-absorbed. Grateful people are absorbed by the good that others are doing for them. Focus on the good – this is the best gratitude message we can give.


Give thanks in all things

Give thanks every day. Not just at the Thanksgiving table.

Live a giving gratitude from your heart. It’s the best approach in life. When our lives are going well giving thanks allows us to celebrate and magnify the goodness.In-all-things-give-thanks-robert-bob-stafford

When life is going badly, giving thanks provides a perspective by which we can view life in its entirety and not be overwhelmed by temporary circumstances.

Professor Emmons says “People who live under an aura of pervasive thankfulness reap the reward of grateful living; conversely, those who fail to feel gratitude cheat themselves out of the experience of life. Why would we want to cheat ourselves?”

This approach to life must come with a new mindset of giving thanks. It’s not going to come easily or automatically.

Two books that I recommend are:

The Little Book of Gratitude by Robert Emmons.

Zero Limits. The Secret Hawaiian System for Wealth, Health, Peace and More by Joe Vitale and Ihaleakala Hew Len, PhD.

Now go forth and give thanks and prosper.

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