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  • A month of gratitude

    Entering the month of November, I look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving, and wonder if you do.  Scripture invites us to ” “Give thanks in all circumstances, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV), we now know that there are positive mental health benefits for giving thanks. 

    Studies have shown that feeling thankful can improve sleep, mood and immunity. Gratitude can decrease depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease. If a pill that could do this, everyone would be taking it. That’s why our Lord calls us to be thankful, it’s good for us, and puts many things into perspective.

    Gratitude is best practiced daily — just as you’d take that magic pill if it existed. Try starting your day by thinking of someone or something you are grateful for as soon as you wake up. It could be appreciating a friend who sends you funny texts, a teacher who recognizes your child’s gifts, a moment of silence in your day, a smile from a stranger in the parking lot, it does not need to be big. 

    One therapeutic technique that can be highly effective is keeping a gratitude journal. Try writing down three things you are thankful for every day, one caveat, no repeating your blessings! Suddenly you are thankful for eyes that blink, a furnace that works, a mind with clear thinking. This simple practice can help reframe negative thought patterns, promote positive emotions, and enhance overall mental health.  Our lives are full of reasons to feel thankful. Sometimes we need to remember to notice them.