The Art of Giving Thanks

This November 24th we adopt the beautiful tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving Day. Historical records establish that the celebration originated in 1619 when a group of settlers landed in Plymouth (now Massachusetts) and encountered the Wampanoags tribe. Together they celebrated the fall harvest and thanked God for the winter provisions.

Now this day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month of November and has become a date that reminds us of the importance of living with gratitude. But beyond this celebration in which we meet with our loved ones to give thanks for what has happened in our lives, we must make gratitude a discipline, an art that leads us to live fuller lives.

It has been scientifically proven that giving thanks daily brings benefits to physical and mental health, in addition to improving interpersonal relationships. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate gratitude into your day-to-day life:

1. Start a gratitude journal

A gratitude journal is an excellent tool for practicing gratitude. You can be as extensive as you want, writing a gratitude reflection at the beginning or end of your day, or listing at least 3 things for which you are grateful will change your mood and your perspective.

2. Be amazed at the little things

Sometimes our lives are hectic and we don’t have time to stop to admire even those little things in our day that are full of beauty and joy. Give yourself a few minutes to walk, spend time with your family, read a good book, try a different dish, contemplate nature and still marvel at everyday life.

3. Periodically thank the people around you

Get in the practice of expressing your gratitude in some way to the people around you. Perhaps with a “thank you”, an invitation to dinner, a hug, a note, a call, some detail that shows affection and gratitude towards the people who have complemented your life.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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