My Thoughts 10/11/2021

An article published by Harvard Health Publishing says that having an attitude of gratitude leads to a feeling of happiness in a person.

A leading researcher in this field, Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, tested the impact of various positive psychology interventions on 411 people, each compared with a control assignment of writing about early memories.

When their week’s assignment was to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness, participants immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores.

This impact was greater than that from any other intervention, with benefits lasting for a month. Thus, giving thanks can increase your happiness and sense of well being.

Some years ago, I came across an excellent book by Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are (2011), published by Zondervan. According to Ann practicing gratitude is the gateway to living a life filled with joy and grace.

I became aware of the importance of giving thanks when listening to the gospel for today when Jesus cures the ten lepers. The Samaritan was the only person who came back to thank Jesus.

Here are a few suggestions you can follow to make gratitude an important part of your life:

  • Every day pray a prayer of thanksgiving. For example, here are some verses from Psalm 105.

“O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wonderful works.
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.”

  • You could write a thank-you note or letter to someone.
  • Why not keep a gratitude journal. Write down or share with someone thoughts about the gifts you have received each day. This could be done before you sleep.

It is good to have a attitude of thanksgiving to God even when things are not easy.

Canon Father Anthony Charlton
Canon Father Anthony CharltonParish Priest