Thanksgiving reminds us to live with gratitude
November 2022 · Forward in Hope, Ministry News
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
This quote by 12th century priest and mystic Meister Eckhart points to the great spiritual power of gratitude. Living with gratitude not only has the capacity to deepen our spiritual lives, it’s also good for our health and quality of life.
Simply put, giving thanks makes us happier.
Research supports this notion:
“In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics. One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.”
By cultivating gratitude in our daily lives, we can grow spiritually and make the difficult patches much more tolerable – for all of us.
We’ve shared a few tips that might help us live more thankfully:
- Remember the bad – To be grateful in your current state, it is helpful to remember the hard times that you once experienced. When you remember how difficult life used to be and how far you have come, you set up an explicit contrast in your mind, and this contrast is fertile ground for gratefulness.
- Share your gratitude with others – Research has found that expressing gratitude can strengthen relationships. So the next time your partner, friend or family member does something you appreciate, be sure to let them know.
- Make a vow to practice gratitude – Write your own gratitude vow, which could be as simple as “I vow to count my blessings each day,” and post it somewhere where you will be reminded of it every day.
- Watch your language – Grateful people have a particular linguistic style that uses the language of gifts, givers, blessings, blessed, fortune, fortunate, and abundance. In gratitude, you should not focus on how inherently good you are, but rather on the inherently good things that others have done on your behalf.
- Go through the motions – Grateful motions include smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude. By “going through grateful motions,” you’ll trigger the emotion of gratitude more often.
So, with that said, we at Saint Francis Ministries want to say thank you. We’re grateful for your friendship as we work together to provide healing and hope to children and families. Whether you’re a foster/kinship/adoptive family, donor, or community partner, thank you.
We wish you and your family a warm and blessed Thanksgiving celebration.