Attitude of Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours,

If you're like us, your busy lives finally get to slow down today so we can express gratitude for family, friends and lots of food (We're hoping to be thankful for the Chiefs on Feb. 3rd). As we pause to thank God, who is the giver of all good things, may we all practice an attitude of gratitude daily and not just today.  In fact, Emmon's and McCullough's research found four distinct areas four distinct areas.

  • Well-Being: Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism, and lower levels of depression and stress.  The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions.

  • Pro-sociality: People with a strong disposition toward gratitude have the capacity to be empathetic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated as more generous and more helpful by people in their social networks.

  • Spirituality: Those who regularly attend religious services and engage in religious activities such as prayer, reading religious material score are more likely to be grateful.  Grateful people are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment to and responsibility to others.

  • Materialism: Grateful individuals place less importance on material goods; they're less likely to judge their or others success in terms of possessions accumulated; they are less envious of others; and are more likely to share their possessions with others relative to less grateful people.

Let us remember this lifestyle of gratitude is a choice.  It's a way of fighting an entitled spirit or an angst-filled life.  But we must choose it.  "It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy."

So this Thanksgiving, as you're snarfing down the turkey, the dressing, the mashed potatoes and the pie, remember that every time you consume something, you should equally "express" something in order to stay healthy.  Your body needs it.  Your soul needs it.  William Arthur Ward said, "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."

I'm grateful for you and yours, and may you feel as blessed as you are a blessing to me,

Ryan

PS - We hope to see you and yours this Sunday at Leawood Pres and throughout this Adventseason.

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