Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday and one of the most cherished traditions in our country. Families and friends get together and go above and beyond to ensure that everyone has more than enough to eat.
It’s also a time to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives. (RELATED: JOHN STOSSEL: Thanksgiving Lessons)
Are we in a thankful culture? Whether we like it or not, the answer to this question has significant implications for the life we lead and the culture we create in the world around us.
The reality is that in today’s high-paced culture, we don’t take enough time to intentionally pause and reflect, to be thankful for all the good in our life. What we don’t realize is that when we neglect gratitude, we do harm to our mental health and our relationships at home and work.
We can become negative, pessimistic, sarcastic, suspicious, and ultimately not a positive person to be around. However, a life filled with thankfulness and gratitude shapes our perspective in a very different light.
When we look at life through a lens of thankfulness in our circumstances, relationships, and challenges, our life becomes empowered with a positive drive.
The science of gratitude is compelling. In fact, studies show that gratefulness has a direct impact on job satisfaction and energy levels for employees and results in taking fewer sick days.
Showing gratitude causes our brains to release serotonin and dopamine, the two chemicals that directly affect our mood and posture us to feel good. Being grateful makes us feel good, and it makes others around us feel the same way.
More than that, it lets people know that they’re valued. Other studies show that when employees are recognized and thanked for their work, retention goes up, as well as recruitment.
As leaders at work and at home, we need to continually set an example for those around us through gratefulness and establish this healthy tone for the context of life.
God’s word instructs us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
God knew what He was doing when He designed us. When we live a life of intentional gratitude and thankfulness, we frame our mindset to live optimally in the way that God designed us. In other words, we live life to the fullest when we’re thankful.
So, this year, when you’re getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, take some time to be genuinely thankful.
Don’t let negativity cloud your relationships, but take an intentional step to unleash the power of gratitude in your life and cultivate a lifestyle of thankfulness that isn’t just something you do once a year but something you do daily.
Paula White – Cain is Chair of the Center for American Values at America First Policy Institute.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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