Thanksgiving is Good for Your Health

Thanksgiving Grace is an inspiring video produced by Mark Perez & Grove Films.
Click here to watch now.

No matter how much you eat this Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is good for your health. I’m not talking about massive amounts of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes or a second helping of pumpkin pie.

I want to invite you to a much more satisfying meal that’s good for your health: a Thanksgiving of the heart. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever. (Psalm 118:1) A steady diet and exercise of Thanksgiving does wonders for your heart, mind and body. And thanksgiving is essential for cultivating a beautiful life. Here’s why… Read on.

1. Giving Thanks Puts Everything in Perspective

For most of us, there will always be someone richer and someone poorer than you and I. When we practice giving thanks, we learn to be thankful for what we have. The overwhelming majority of the world lives in abject poverty. When you regularly practice thanksgiving for what you have, you learn that elusive spiritual state of contentment.

Thanksgiving is the path that leads to a content heart. (Click here if you’d like to Tweet this.)

When I’m struggling or having a hard day, one simple act I’ve found very helpful to put my life into perspective is to grab my journal and write a list of everything I’m thankful for.

Thanksgiving, even in difficult circumstances, keeps our hearts from the negative and overwhelming undertows of fear, worry, and freaking out!

2. Giving Thanks Helps Us Separate Our Unnecessary Wants with Our True Needs

As your children grown up, you often hear as a parent, “Daddy, I want this…I want that! Mommy, get me this!” What I have been telling my kids lately is, “What you really need is water, food, clothing, shelter, and love. That’s what you really NEED… just about everything else is a want!” 

Thanksgiving separates our unnecessary wants from our true needs. Now, that said, the example we have in scripture is our heavenly Father who is lavish, generous and extravagant with His love. Many times I’ve given my children what they want, what their hearts desire is, because it’s fun being a generous father. How will our children ever learn God is generous if they don’t see it modeled first. God sees our true heart… our needs and our wants. He is our Provider and practicing thanksgiving will help put our wants and needs in proper perspective.

3. People Who Give Thanks Are Healthier and Happier People

Study after study has shown that thankful people are healthier and happier than people with bitter, mumbling, complaining hearts. Giving thanks changes your brain chemistry, creating new neural pathways for endorphins to be released into the body. People that live “entitled” lives, believing that life, God, their boss, parents, spouse, or children owe them something are serving themselves a plateful of pain and heartache.

Thankful people have healthier hearts, lower blood pressure, and less stress. Which Thanksgiving table would you want to sit at?

If you want to live longer, practice the lost spiritual art of Thanksgiving. (Click here if you’d like to Tweet this.)

Cultivating a thank-filled heart and mind does take work, but it produces an unmistakable beauty in every person who makes it a daily practice.

You’ll see it in your own smile and in the smiles of those around you.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

Questions: Here’s a simple one my friends… What are you thankful for today?

I’d love to know what you are thankful for!

You’ve just read Thanksgiving is Good for Your Health. Click here to comment now on Art, Life & Faith.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, snarky or off-topic.

  • Amy

    This year I focused on the positive things in my life and cut the negatives loose. My health and happiness have never been better. I have become a stronger person physically, mentally and spiritually. The people who have entered my life this year and who have joined me along on this journey are proving to be first-rate friends. I am beyond thankful to God for giving me the clarity and the strength to have made this shift.

    • http://www.joeyo.org/ Joey O’Connor

      This is a great perspective Amy…so glad you’ve developed so many new friendships. Being in Augusta in September and working with all the Wounded Warriors, including meeting everyone connected to Scott Rigsby was such a blessing.

      You’re so right… we have the choice to focus on the positive or the negative. What we focus on leads to health or… dis-ease.

      Blessings my friend!

  • Pingback: In Search of Happiness? Cultivate Gratitude | Joey O'Connor | Art, Life & Faith()