Here we are in November and soon those of us on social media will start seeing the public Thanksgiving thankfulness countdowns. I don’t know, maybe the people who do those feel they need to share what they’re thankful for with everyone as a way of holding them accountable, of being sure they do it each day. However if I learned anything from reading “The Grateful Life: The Secret to Happiness and the Science of Contentment” by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammon it’s that for gratitude to be effective it can’t be seasonal, it’s a lifestyle choice. And just like making any type of lifestyle change, it can be easier said than done.
Fortunately “The Grateful Life” is full of real life stories of how people have learned the value of gratitude and have incorporated it into their lives. Many readers will find a person who they can emphasize with, or find a connection to. These stories end with a tip as to how those people incorporate gratitude into their daily lives. Often times there are links to websites for some of the altruistic projects the people are involved in.
Lesowitz and Sammons also take time to talk about some studies that have been done regarding gratitude and the effects it has on physical health. The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkley are building on findings that consciously choosing to focus on the positive can combat the release of stress hormones that compromise our immune systems and cause inflammation disease. The Greater Good Science Center, in collaboration with the University of California, Davis awarded $3 million in grants to expand the scientific understanding of gratitude. What I’m saying is these gals ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie.
How about this Thanksgiving instead of just a seasonal countdown of thankfulness you pick up a copy of “The Grateful Life” and consider doing the work of making a real change?