An Attitude is Gratitude
by Michael S. Tyrrell
November 3, 2020
Happy Tuesday, my Dear Wholetonians!
Ahh… it’s November, the Thanksgiving season, and that special time where we look forward to the changes in our weather and the color of the leaves as they fall.
This year, however, many of us are also experiencing some unwelcome changes–changes to the way we socialize, gather and celebrate.
Thanksgiving this year may look a little different to some of us,
but there is one very important ingredient that, if missing,
would make Thanksgiving completely unrecognizable.
Do you know what that ingredient is?
Nope, it’s not the turkey… I’m talking about thankfulness.
So let’s talk turkey about gratitude.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
This Fall season has been especially hard on many people.
Depression and anxiety are at an all-time high, but gratitude
is a vital weapon in the fight against this dastardly duo.
According to research done for an article on PositivePsychology.com, thankfulness can positively affect us in a variety of ways.
Here are just three:
1. Increased Happiness
In a study conducted by Toepfer, Cichy, and Peters in 2011,
participants were asked to write and deliver a letter to someone
for whom they were grateful. After performing this exercise,
their happiness levels and life satisfaction were dramatically improved, even weeks later!
They found that the more gratitude we experience and express,
the more we experience positive feedback, making us feel happier, which in turn creates a loop to express more gratitude.
2. Deeper Relationships
Turns out, gratitude is a powerful tool for strengthening interpersonal relationships. It really should come as no surprise that people who express gratitude for each other tend to be less self-absorbed and more willing to forgive others. (DeShea, 2003; Farwell & Wohlwend-Lloyd, 1998)
3. Overall well-being
Expressing our thanks can improve our overall sense of well-being. Grateful people are often “more agreeable, more open, and less neurotic.” Gratitude is inversely related to depression, and positively related to life satisfaction. (McCullough et al., 2002; McCullough, Tsang, & Emmons, 2004 Wood, Maltby,
Gillett, Linley, & Joseph, 2008; Wood, Maltby, Steart, Linley et al., 2008, Wood, Joseph, & Maltby, 2008).
Now I’m not saying that depressed people should just be more
grateful, because it’s important to know that depression is a very
complicated disease for millions of people. What I am saying is
that “practicing” gratitude can be a very helpful part of therapy
and treatment for people struggling with depression.
So tell me, what are YOU thankful for?
If you want to know what I’m thankful for, take a look in the mirror. That’s right, my friend, I’m thankful for YOU and the support you’ve given to me and Wholetones.
You’re amazing, and I’m so thankful!
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Until next time…
Michael S. Tyrrell
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