Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Gratitude: The Purpose of Thanksgiving

Do you see a glass of water that is half-empty? Or is it half-full?
People who see a half-empty glass are likely to see their lives in the same way: problems with their classes or jobs, difficulties with money, worries about family, and so on. People who see the glass as half-full are more likely to think about the good parts of their classes or jobs, be happy they have money at all, and view family problems as only one element of being a member of a family.
The half-full glass people, in other words, are grateful for their blessings. Studies show that people who are grateful are generally more positive and better able to deal with trouble than people who don't appreciate the goodness in their lives.
Gratitude can be developed through practice. One exercise that helps develop gratitude is to write down something you are thankful for every day. Another way to practice gratitude is to thank people when they do something kind for you or something that affects you.
         Dr. Michael Craig Miller M.D. of the Harvard Medical School offers a series of strategies for improving gratitude in his article "The Mental Health Benefits of Gratitude." One such strategy is to write thank-you notes. "You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing thank-you notes.... Also write one any time a person has had a positive influence on your life," says Dr. Miller.
Bernardo Romero creates his
fabulous seafood paella
Not long ago, faculty at the Instituto got together for a meal. Prof. Bernardo Romero cooked a delicious seafood paella at the gathering. I can't eat Spain's famous hams, so I really appreciated a seafood dish. I think I should tell him, so I'm going to write him an open [published] thank you note right here!

Dear Bernardo,
Thank you so much for making the wonderful seafood paella for all of    us on November 12.  You know I have to avoid ham, and I appreciate you considering me when you decided on seafood for the dish. The mussels and shrimp were so good, and I'd never eaten razor clams before. The wild asparagus was a special treat!
Thank you for your effort. It was really memorable.
Many regards, Susan                                                               

Maybe you know someone you'd like to thank for something special?

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