Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. In just a few days we’ll all gather around the table with our families and friends and give thanks for the blessings we’ve received and will continue to receive at the hands of a good and merciful God.
Oftentimes I think we fail to realize that there are a lot of benefits just in the act of being grateful itself. It says an awful lot about those who extend their gratitude to God, to family, and to their friends. Here are seven benefits I can think of right off the top of my head, of being grateful.
- Being grateful shows. By that I mean it shows in your face. You smile, you walk taller, you send the clue to people that “I’m open for business.” People like to be around you because you’re a happy, fun person rather than a mad, sour cynical person.
- Being grateful takes the focus off of you and puts it on the other person. Grateful people are always full of joy. They are effervescent. They bubble over and they are able to put the focus on the other person in the conversation. Grateful people make other people feel good in their presence.
- Being grateful reduces stress. Being grateful for your marriage, your family, and your children takes down the stress and worry that often not only destroys your joy and your life, but ultimately your body. When you’re grateful, you can’t be hateful.
- Being grateful attracts the right kind of people. Grateful people have kind of a radar that they send out and they attract other grateful people. They repel people who want a pity party, who want to spread gossip and slander. People with evil intent look for weak, sour, miserable people; not strong, grateful people.
- Being grateful makes you a giver, not a taker. The fact that you have something to be grateful for, means you understand the law of the farm, sowing and reaping, of working hard and expecting a return; or the promise of The Scripture that says, “Give and it will be given unto you.” You understand the law of reciprocity and you practice it. And you reap the benefits of it. So you constantly give. And because you give and have been given, you are constantly planning and investing and giving in other people. As a matter of fact, all that you get, you see as more opportunity to give and invest.
- Being grateful creates new ideas. It’s when you are grateful that you are the most creative and you think about the possibilities that can be created to solve the problems and meet the needs of the world. It’s grateful people who write out of the overflow of their lives. It’s grateful people who paint great paintings, who write great books, who compose great music. It’s out of their generosity that the beauty of their art blesses those who experience it.
- Being grateful builds strong reserves; not only financially and physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Grateful people understand that even setbacks are temporary; that all you have to do is not sour, not settle, not stop, and generosity will continue to flow into your life.
So this Thanksgiving, stop and think about all the things for which you are grateful. Celebrate those things and understand that the benefits of gratitude will be yours all year long.