I know I’m not the only one who gets a warm and fuzzy feeling each year when Thanksgiving rolls around. There’s something special about gathering with our families and friends to enjoy a meal and reflect on everything we have to be grateful for.
But as we all know, that warm and fuzzy feeling doesn’t always last for very long. And way too often, the spirit of thankfulness that comes with the holiday fades away too. That’s not good!
We might not always be filled with the holiday spirit, but we can choose to be thankful at any time. And it’s really important for us to make that choice because we miss out on a ton of amazing things when we let that attitude of gratitude slip away.
We should be thankful all year long—not just at the end of November. So, to encourage you to keep a spirit of appreciation, I’ve made a list of my top 10 reasons to be thankful.
10 Reasons to Be Thankful
1. Thankfulness helps others.
Everyone has a need and desire to be appreciated—that includes spouses, children, parents, friends, coworkers and even the strangers we meet in passing. When we express gratitude for others, we meet their needs, lift their spirits, and make them feel validated.
2. Thankfulness creates contentment.
The culture we live in constantly tells us that buying and doing more is the key to enjoying our lives. But here’s the deal, you guys: It’s a great big lie. The real key to feeling joy and satisfaction about where we are in life is contentment. It’s true that distractions can make it difficult for us to appreciate what we have right now. But by choosing to be thankful, we can ignore those toxic messages and embrace contentment.
3. Thankfulness feels good.
Remember that happy Thanksgiving feeling we talked about earlier? Well, I’ve got some good news: We can keep feeling that way long after the turkey and dressing are gone. How? All we have to do is count our blessings and turn our hearts toward gratitude. When we do that, the warm and fuzzy feelings will follow
4. Thankfulness keeps us healthy.
All right, guys. Let’s be honest—the holidays can be super stressful. There’s a lot going on, from endless parties to figuring out how to make a Christmas budget for all the gifts we want to buy. Even though the holidays can be a time of anxiety for many of us, reflecting on what we’re thankful for is actually a great way to reduce holiday stress.
When we stop focusing on what we don’t have and start focusing on everything we do have, our shoulders relax and we invite peace, patience and health into our lives.
5. Thankfulness cultivates humility.
Arrogance and ungratefulness go hand in hand. Luckily, the opposite is also true: There’s a huge link between humility and thankfulness. When we choose to be thankful for the big and small blessings in our lives, it helps us to be more humble and gracious.
6. Thankfulness is contagious.
In the same way that fear and worry are contagious, so is a spirit of gratitude. Think about it: When we see others being grateful, we’re inspired to be grateful as well. And when our friends, family, neighbors and coworkers experience our thankfulness, they’ll also be inspired!
7. Thankfulness produces positivity.
When we’re thankful, we naturally become more positive people. I get it—there are endless little daily annoyances that can bring us down and steal our joy. But when we’re intentionally thankful, our thoughts naturally focus on the good in other people and in our everyday lives.
8. Thankfulness promotes generosity.
It’s tough to be generous when we’re constantly focused on our own needs. But when we’re thankful for what we have, we can give to others more easily. And when we realize how blessed we are, we can confidently and joyfully become a blessing to others.
9. Thankfulness boosts likability.
Do you like hanging out with people who are ungrateful and entitled? Nope, I didn’t think so. But my guess is you love spending time with people who are grateful and down-to-earth because people like that are super pleasant to be around. Guess what? You can be one of those people when you practice thankfulness. When you’re a thankful person, others will see you in a positive light and want to be around you.
10. Thankfulness displays God’s character.
The Bible is full of passages on gratitude and thankfulness—commands, parables, prayers, you name it. You know what that tells me? Thankfulness is really important to God. When we actively practice gratefulness, we become more of who God wants us to be. Plus, we get to connect with Him through our prayers of gratitude.
We All Have Plenty of Things to Be Thankful For.
Here’s the bottom line: We all have a lot of things to be thankful for in our lives, and that includes you! Whether it’s something simple like your favorite T-shirt or something bigger like a career you’re passionate about, I know you have plenty to be grateful for.
The cool thing about gratitude is it’s available to all of us and completely within our control. It’s not a special gift that some people have and others don’t or a feeling that only floats through the air at the end of each November. Nope—thankfulness is a choice, and it’s one you can make all year long.