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(Image from http://examinedexistence.com)

Just a brief rambling reflection on Thanksgiving.

After reading a couple of articles about Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday celebrated for the last ~150 years in USA and Canada (on a different day), I wondered about how many people actually think about thankfulness or gratitude on this day, or any day.

Much has recently been written on the benefits of gratitute (Amy Morin – Psychologytoday).  Taken from this summary of some research articles, gratitude (acknowledging and being thankful for all that you have) can improve relationships, promote new relationships, improve physical and psychological health, reduce aggression, improve sleep, promote self-esteem through appreciating other peoples accomplishments, reduce stress and foster resilience!

How much would you pay for a medication that had all these benefits? Such a drug would make billions in revenue – right?!

Well, all these health and relationship benefits can be attained for free, by anyone, just by spending a few minutes a day keeping a gratitude journal.

Actually, this is one of the reasons I don’t like Thanksgiving Day (see afterthought below).  Gratitude is not something that can be done once a year and expect to see any benefit.  In fact, health writer Amy Morin recently described a survey that revealed that the stress of shopping, cooking and spending time with family on Thanksgiving Day actually makes it harder to be thankful on this day itself.

The only thing left to do, is share a few things I am thankful for.  I am grateful that…

I am alive
I have an incredible wife
I have 4 amazing kids
I have a job
I can hear (my wife’s singing is beautiful)
I own a house (large mortgage though)
I am generally healthy (only occasional back pain)
I discovered blogging
I have friends, both ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ (in the blogosphere)
my wife and I shared our relationship goals yesterday


Afterthought: I should acknowledge that I am not American.  This is not meant to be something I’m either thankful or not thankful for – sorry… confusing 😉