In the United States, we hold Thanksgiving Day on the third Thursday in November. Many other countries also have days of thanksgiving that are an important part of their lives. Japan celebrates Kinrō Kansha no Hi on November 23rd when people give thanks for the work done throughout the year and the fruit of that labor. Canada celebrates on the second day in October. Learn about other days of thanks here. Most often these celebrations are times of partying and getting together with friends to eat and spend time together in honor of good harvests and nature's bounty. However, the practice of giving thanks serves more than an opportunity to celebrate.
It makes us aware of our needs.
Giving thanks allows us to acknowledge that we cannot exist on our own. We rely on nature and the labor and vigilance of others to provide the things we need to live - food, shelter, and clean air and water.
It makes us more positive.
Giving thanks for what we have causes us to look for the good in our lives, even if it isn't as much as we need or desire. Where a focus on the negatives in one's life leads to jealousy and anger, a focus on the positives in one's life makes us more open, caring people--more likely to do good for those less fortunate than ourselves.
It helps us see the good in others.
When time is set aside to be thankful, we look around for things to be thankful for and we are more likely to see the good things people do that are often missed in our busy lives.
It makes others like you more.
Giving thanks to others makes people feel more worthwhile and needed. That in turn makes them value you more and establishes stronger friendships.
When we thank someone for something they have done or the help they have given, we feel good inside. We know we have done something right in a world which is often hard and uncaring and full of hate. And later, when we look back at the choices we have made, those moments of gratitude will form memories that will allow us to feel we have made a difference in the world.
Ways to Incorporate Giving Thanks into Your Life
Create a Gratitude Journal for yourself or your entire family. Write at least one thing you are thankful for each day.
Say Thank You
Make it a point to thank at least one person everyday for something they have done for you or someone you care about.
Send a Note
Send thank you letters or e-mails to people who have done things to make your life or the lives of others better.
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