Gratitude leads to joy and happiness
Eucharistic Adoration, tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. Please join us!!
I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving Day yesterday, enjoying the cornucopia of food and drink that reminds us that when God gives He gives in abundance. We have so much for which to be thankful, and so many who came to Mass yesterday expressed those things for which they are thankful.
I ask bloggers to do the same here; please post up to three things for which you are thankful. I am thankful for the Eucharist, for being assigned to St. Andrew’s, and for beating the Cowboys in Dallas (!).
The retreat master of my Fall retreat, Msgr. Steve Rossetti, gave a talk entitled, “Becoming a Eucharistic People”. He focused on the many benefits of giving thanks regularly. The overall point was that gratitude leads to joy and happiness. We should give thanks EVERY DAY for the sake of gratitude, but also because it brings us more health and happiness. Msgr. Rosetti offered evidence to the latter point, referring to results of a Gratitude Study done years ago that was published in the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology (2002):
- daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, and energy
- gratitude group (those who gave thanks regularly) exercised more regularly, had fewer physical symptoms, and quality and duration of sleep was better
- gratitude group experienced less depression and stress (!). They experienced higher levels of optimism & life satisfaction without denying negative aspects of life
- gratitude group were more likely to feel loved and to help others, i.e., helped someone with a personal problem or offered emotional support
- gratitude group more empathic and rated as more generous and helpful by others
- grateful people were less envious of others
- they were less materialistic and more religious or spiritual (attend services or engage in religious activities)
“I think it is impossible for anyone to be simultaneously grateful and unhappy. So the solution to much of the unhappiness that humans experience is a reawakening in the human heart of the idea of gratitude. That's why I think it is a great idea for non-believers to celebrate Thanksgiving. Let anyone start expressing and experiencing gratitude--if not vertically toward God, at least horizontally toward others in the human community--and you'll find that person holding a new lease on happiness.” - Rev. William J. Bryon, S.J.
“In all circumstances give thanks” (1 Thess 5:16-18)
Eucharistia: Greek – thanksgiving
“If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ it will suffice”. – Meister Eckhard