Happy Thanksgiving! We’d all agree that being thankful is more than a holiday. We should be thankful every day! In fact, the Bible commands us to be thankful! (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I believe God’s commandments are good for us. They are given to help us live a better life!
Interestingly, there has been quite a bit of research that supports the importance of gratitude. Being thankful has many positive side effects. So, here are five great things about gratitude based on five separate studies.
1. Gratitude increases self-control.
Studies have shown that thankful people have more patience and self-control. These are people who are grateful every day, even for the little things in life. Gratitude changes our perspective. One author pointed out that all high achievers have this one thing in common: They express gratitude.
2. Gratitude improves relationships.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. Being grateful toward another person increases one’s connectedness and appreciation for others. Research shows that everyday gratitude can actually increase romance. When people are gracious, they are happier and are willing to help others.
3. Gratitude helps with rest.
Being thankful puts your thoughts in a better place for sleep! This study reveals that grateful people are calmer and less anxious. If you are going to make a gratitude list, the research suggests you do it right before you go to bed!
4. Gratitude eases depression.
Gratitude helps our attitude. Thankful people are less depressed. One experiment showed this very thing. People were asked to note three good things every day for 2 weeks. The result was that most of them saw substantial improvements in their depression. Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy put it this way, “If thankfulness were a drug it would be the world’s best-selling product with a health maintenance indication for every major organ system.”
5. Gratitude leads to joy.
One researcher concluded that being thankful “leads to much more sustainable forms of happiness because it’s not based in that immediate gratification; it’s a frame of mind.” Gratitude creates paths in the brain that become superhighways to happiness and inner strength.
BEFORE YOU GO
Be thankful! It is good for us! What other benefits have you found from being thankful? If you are curious about your thankfulness, Eric Geiger has a short quiz to grade your gratitude. I encourage you to take it.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends! God has blessed us with so much!