It’s that time of year when our hearts are full of gratitude for family, friends, church, our work, and the general beauty and joy of life. But there can be challenges for those who seem to be alone or unwell during the holidays. My friend, Wendy Margolese, writing for the November 21, 2016 edition of OurWindsor.ca, helps us to see more clearly the inspiring and health-giving role of gratitude, no matter what the outward circumstances. Her conviction that good has a constant source in God shines out in a healing she shares. Here’s Wendy:
Many cultures around the world have unique ways of offering grace before a meal, whether over a bowl of pasta or a plate of Pad Thai. As a Baby Boomer, I remember saying grace at the family dinner table each evening – a moment to reflect on not only the bounty before us, but also on other blessings of the day.
However, statistics show the ritual of saying grace before a meal is trending downward with less than half of us today taking a quiet moment to express gratitude.
This shift is happening for lots of different reasons. I have wondered if one of the reasons for this reticence to give gratitude is a fear that goodness can be limited in our lives – that we can experience limited health, limited income, limited happiness.
Why is gratitude important? How can it impact this limited feeling?
Ask Robert Emmons, professor at the University of California, Davis, who is acknowledged as today’s pre-eminent expert in the study of gratitude. His studies have shown that a conscious focus on blessings improved moods, coping skills and overall physical well-being.
Emmons says, ‘Gratitude is one of the few things that can measurably heal….”