BY: RACHEL WUMKES
November is the officially the Month of Thanks. With the strategic placement of Thanksgiving just before we begin December, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the year, and remember the many instances and occasions of gratitude.
I love this concept, as it holds Thanksgiving in its rightful place. Often times, the upcoming Christmas season likes to give this turkey-centered holiday a big old shove out of the way, kicking it to the curb to wash down the drain with the fall rains. I, too, am guilty of overlooking November, thinking only of decorating the tree, buying gifts, organizing family togetherness, and all that the holidays entail.
So I’m thankful for whoever created the first challenge, starting the month long trend of thanks and gratefulness.
If you google this topic, a slew of challenges pop up. The 30 Days of Thankfulness, the Gratitude Challenge, and on and on. Social media feeds are filled with posts as people participate in such challenges, highlighting their thanks and gratitude. Though not only simply posting their thanks, but then going out into the world and actually thanking the person who made it happen. Creating a ripple of good in the World to spread happiness and thanks.
As we are already forging through the month of November because, let’s face it, time seems to pass by in the blink of an eye, you can still get in on the action. Just because you’re not involved in an ‘actual challenge’ doesn’t mean you can’t be thankful and share with others. Make a list and get started – it’s that simple.
And why should you do this? Well, it turns out its good for your health and well-being. Not even kidding. Being thankful gives you confidence, helps nurture your self-esteem and creates the ability to see circumstances in a new perspective, chasing away the negative thoughts floating through your head that you’re not “doing a good job” at life, at parenting, at being a friends or spouse. It helps us be less worried about comparing ourselves to others.
Which, let’s face it, everyone does and mainly leaves you feeling like poo.
And these benefits are real. Not just a fluffy buffer to get you through the day or make you feel happy. They are founded in scientific research. Studies have shown dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life simply from being thankful and recognizing all that they have in their life. It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function, and even facilitate more efficient sleep.
A recent study at the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine even found that grateful people have better overall heart health.
So get started today. Take the month of November to make a list of everything you’re grateful for in life. I know I’m grateful for this amazing town we live in. For the astounding people, the school, the churches, and all the incredible possibilities to be involved in the prosperity and quality of our little slice of Heaven.
I’m thankful for you, Clear Lakers. See ya at the Lake!