Thanksgiving is our annual celebration of gratitude. But if someone dear to you is seriously ill this year, the very last thing you might be feeling is gratitude.
In fact, our national celebration is a response to hard times. We honor the Pilgrims’ giving of thanks for coming through a harrowing year. And today, research shows that it is in tough times that we benefit most from a grateful approach. Gratitude helps us
- keep things in perspective. Reminding us that life naturally includes the unpleasant alongside the pleasant.
- withstand stress. By cultivating awareness of the good in our life, we’re more resilient during misfortune.
- find the positive. Expecting that life holds both good and bad, we know to look for the upside.
Even though you may never feel grateful during times of hardship, you may find it possible to hold grateful thoughts. And that creates the beneficial “attitude of gratitude.” This takes practice. It’s easy to feel good and to think happy thoughts when things seem to be going your way.