thankgiving 1720Thanksgiving is more than a day. It’s a lifestyle. So in honor of this week of turning our attention toward gratitude—and in hopes of it lasting much longer than a week—here are a few encouraging/inspiring/ interesting thoughts I’ve picked up from wise people, published research, or simple observation.

Gratitude magnifies your blessings. It’s often said that whatever you focus on grows larger. That’s true for both the positive and negative: for fears, hopes, dreams, offenses—and blessings. Gratitude focuses so closely on the good that the bad can become almost unnoticeable.

Gratitude shifts your perspective. It makes you realize the glass isn’t half-empty. In most cases, it’s actually more than 90 percent full. If you don't think it is, you might need to focus more on what you're thankful for.

Gratitude increases God's presence in your life. He's always there, of course. But I'm talking about his manifest presence—your experience of him. I'm fully convinced, mainly because it just makes sense, that when Psalm 100 says to enter his gates with thanksgiving, it means more than just coming to him with gratitude. It means thanksgiving is one of the means by which we can enter his gates. Whether or not the verse means that, I believe your experience will prove it true. Try it and see how much closer he seems.

Thankfulness is healthy. People who are continually grateful are generally in better health than those who aren’t. Conversely, complaining (the opposite of thankfulness) is at least as unhealthy as having a poor diet. The difference in physical symptoms between thankful people and bitter people is startling.

Thankfulness is a strong anti-depressant. Sometimes simply stating your gratitude out loud—even just two or three things you’re grateful for, no matter how small—can change your mood for the rest of the day.

Gratitude is a powerful prayer. You get more from God by thanking him than by begging him. And thanking him in advance for something he has promised but not yet given is a profound statement of faith.

Thankfulness is an act of humility. You’re acknowledging that you’re dependent, not self-sufficient. And God is drawn to humble hearts.

It's a great season for deep thoughts. Like, Gobbler and Blogger somehow have to be etymologically related, don’t they?

Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Enjoy your family members, the day off, the meal, the football games, and even Black Friday, if that’s your thing. But above all, don’t forget to give thanks.

Click to tweet: Thanksgiving is more than a day. It’s a lifestyle.

Click to tweet: Gratitude focuses so closely on the good that the bad can become almost unnoticeable.

Click to tweet: The difference in physical health between thankful people and bitter people is startling.

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