From Dr. Mercola:
Science tells us that people who are thankful for what they have are happier and reach their goals with greater ease, and Thanksgiving is an American holiday that reminds us to take stock of all the things we’re grateful for.
As noted in a previous article on this topic published in the Harvard Mental Health Letter:1
“Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives.
In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”
Gratitude is also associated with improved health, both physical and emotional. Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, head of Biologic Psychology at Duke University Medical Center once stated that:2
“If [thankfulness] were a drug, it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”
Being Thankful for Your Health — Every Day
While there are as many reasons to be thankful as there are people in the world, one facet of life that many often forget to be thankful for (until it is too late) is their health. We tend to take our health for granted until we’re suddenly in the throes of pain or debilitating illness.
As noted by Mark Sisson:3
“What does it mean to be thankful for your health?… At its most basic level it can be a ‘There but by the grace of God go I’ feeling we get when someone we know dies of a heart attack or gets cancer. The news jolts us into awareness of our mortality, health being what keeps us on the other side.
Being thankful for our health, however, means more than gratitude for being alive itself.
On yet another level, it means appreciating the capacities allowed by our health – the cognitive ability to practice our profession and remember our children’s names, the physical ability to walk up six flights of stairs when the elevator is being serviced…
It’s about confidence that we have the strength to move most of our own stuff when need arises and take care of our children, tend to our property, and still have energy to enjoy something of everyday life…”
It goes back to the old adage that it’s really the little things that matter most, and if you cultivate gratitude for the little things — such as being able to lift an overstuffed turkey out of the oven and remembering the names of all your friends and relatives around the table — it will foster a more deep-seated sense of happiness.
After all, a lot of misery is rooted in a perceived sense of lack. But if you have good health and all your mental faculties intact, you also have the prerequisite basics for doing something