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What You Have to Be Thankful For And Why It Is So Healthy To Remember

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  • What You Have to Be Thankful For And Why It Is So Healthy To Remember

    As you gather together with your friends and loved ones this Thanksgiving, you may be feeling any gamut of emotions. This year in particular, many Americans are struggling financially, stressed over losing their homes or simply feeling pessimistic about the economy and future.

    No matter if you find yourself feeling downtrodden or blessed this Thanksgiving, we would like to share with you some compelling reasons to be thankful, again, regardless of what your external circumstances may feel like.

    To start, being thankful is the first step to a better life.

    Robert Emmons, a psychology professor at the University of California Davis, and colleagues have been conducting studies into the benefits of gratitude. Here is just a sampling of the benefits being thankful can have:
    • Greater Optimism and Physical Fitness: People who kept weekly gratitude journals exercised on a more regular basis, felt better physically and about their lives in general, and had a more optimistic attitude about the upcoming week than people who recorded negative or neutral things in a journal.
    • Achieve Your Goals: Those who kept gratitude lists were closer to attaining their personal goals after a two-month period than those who did not.
    • Stress Relief: Being grateful is also an effective way to release stress, according to Emmons. "Gratitude research is beginning to suggest that feelings of thankfulness have tremendous positive value in helping people cope with daily problems, especially stress," he said in a WebMD article.
    • Greater Sense of Wellbeing and Positive Emotions: People who are grateful report higher levels of positive emotions, vitality and life satisfaction, and lower levels of depression and stress.
    • Helps You Cope With Illness: Among people with a neuromuscular disease, Emmons found that a '21-day gratitude intervention' produced more 'high-energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one's life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality, relative to a control group.'

    “Gratitude and thankfulness are extremely healthy emotions and ones that can be cultivated if we are open to it,” says Hale Dwoskin, CEO and director of training of Sedona Training Associates. “These positive emotions also tend to open us to even more to be grateful about. Gratitude attracts the positive in our experience.”

    What do You Have to be Thankful For?

    Ideally you already have a running list of why you're grateful in your head or in a journal by your bedside. If not, we highly recommend you start a gratitude journal of your own and add to it each and every day.

    But this year, as we said, many of you may be feeling worn out, depressed or unable to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Well, there is a light, and it becomes easy to find when you use The Sedona Method to let go of the emotions that are bringing you down.

    “One way of cultivating gratitude is to simply look toward what you already have in your life that you either are or can be thankful for, and then allow yourself to fully welcome the feeling of gratefulness as best you can,” Dwoskin says.

    “The other way to open to being thankful is to release your dissatisfaction with what is,” he continues. “The more you let go of wanting to change what is, the more you feel grateful for what you already have without any additional effort.”

    So please do take advantage of The Sedona Method, and use it to regularly let go of any negative thoughts you’re having about your current life. To give you a bit of inspiration for your own gratitude list, remember these four things that you definitely have to be thankful for:
    • You have the gift of life
    • You have the ability to make choices
    • You are in control of your life
    • You are able to enjoy all the little things (sun rises, sunsets, clouds …)

    For even more encouragement, we especially love “The Global Village.”

    This list of statistics originally came from an article written by Professor Donella Meadows of Dartmouth College in 1990. It has been widely circulated around the Internet and even made into a children’s book. Today nearly two decades later, the list is still as poignant as ever.

    So as you enjoy Thanksgiving with your friends and relatives, please take a minute to put things into perspective, and think about all you truly have to be thankful for. This list, by the way, makes an excellent reading at the Thanksgiving table, and we highly recommend you print it out for that very reason.

    If the world were a village of 1,000 people:
    • 584 would be Asians
    • 123 would be Africans
    • 95 would be East and West Europeans
    • 84 Latin Americans
    • 55 Soviets
    • 52 North Americans
    • 6 Australians and New Zealanders

    The people of the village would have considerable difficulty communicating:
    • 165 people would speak Mandarin
    • 86 would speak English
    • 83 Hindi/Urdu
    • 64 Spanish
    • 58 Russian
    • 37 Arabic

    That list accounts for the mother-tongues of only half the villagers. The other half speaks (in descending order of frequency) Bengali, Portuguese, Indonesian, Japanese, German, French, and 200 other languages.
    • Each year three people would die from lack of food
    • 200 people would control three-fourths of the income, and another 200 would receive only 2% of the income
    • Only 70 people would own an automobile (some of them more than one automobile).
    • About one-third would not have access to clean, safe drinking water.
    • Of the 670 adults in the village, half would be illiterate.

    Finally, the following vignettes, which have also been widely circulated around the Internet, help to put things into perspective and remind us all of what we have to be truly thankful for:

    1. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of the people in the world.
    2. If you can attend a church or synagogue meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are more blessed than 3 billion people in the world.
    3. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are more blessed than 500 million people in the world.
    4. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
    5. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
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