Today, many of us here in the United States are celebrating Thanksgiving, a national day of giving thanks. The Thanksgiving tradition originates from the landing of the Pilgrims in 1620 on the shores of Cape Cod Bay before permentantly establishing a settlement in Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.
William Bradford writes the following account of the first Thanksgiving in 1621, in the book Of Plymouth Plantation (Morison,90), “They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well and recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty… All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees).”
Over 200 years later, during the time of the Civil War in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday.
Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and a day for giving thanks for all things we have to be grateful for even in the toughest of times but why wait for a federal holiday to give thanks? Give thanks each day.
Gratitude is an amazing and simple concept yet often times get overlooked. There are many benefits to having a “gratitude attitude”. Gratitude makes us feel happier, improves and opens more doors to relationships (and also shows good manners), improves physical and emotional health and helps lifts our spirits even in the toughest times by reminding us of the positive things we have to be grateful for.
Here are 3 simple ways to incorporate gratitude into your daily practices: say a little thank you when you get up in the morning, tell someone how thankful you are for them, write down three things you are grateful for each night before going to sleep.
“Gratitude is expressed as a primary emotion. It is a state of mind translated by the brain into complementary neurochemistry that is secreted into the blood stream. The chemistry of gratitude energizes the body and releases a wave of euphoric sensation, a sense of harmony with all that is.”
Dr. Bruce Lipton
Why not make gratitude your default attitude? What are some of the things you are grateful for today? I would love to hear what you came up with. If you feel like sharing please drop a comment in the comment box below.
May you find the beauty of gratitude held in each day.
Morison, S.E, editor. Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 William Bradford. Alfred A. Knopf, 1952.