Expressing gratitude is an essential element of Judaism, as well as most world religions. From reciting a blessing when one wakes up, to saying grace before or after a meal, to acknowledging a beautiful moment, to thanking God for allowing our body to function properly after using the restroom, many of our spiritual practices involve giving thanks – and there’s good reason for this.
According to Harvard Medical School, “… being grateful helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals – whether to other people, nature, or a higher power. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” (https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier)
So, as we celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving this coming week, I encourage you to openly express your gratitude. Take a moment to reflect on something you are truly grateful for – and say thank you. I’ll start: thank you for making the time to read these words! Happy Thanksgiving.