Presentation on theme: "Thanksgiving 2008. The Power of Gratitude On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars,"— Presentation transcript:
The Power of Gratitude On the first day you are to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. Leviticus 23:40-41
Give thanks! Rejoice! Celebrate!
Psalm 105:1-5 Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
Giving thanks Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Societal values counter to Gratitude Individualistic, independent entitlement! I work for, earn, deserve, am entitled to, I do it on my own, pay my own way Don’t want to be indebted to anyone In a consumer, “you gotta have” culture I don’t have all I want, or need or deserve Leaves us discontent, dissatisfied, envious, greedy, grumbling, blaming, feeling cheated, even more deserving, demanding, in a word, unhappy.
New Psychology of Happiness Gratitude, gratefulness is one of a cluster of attitudes conducive to happiness and a sense of well being, harmonious and mutually nurturing relationships : “Gratitude becomes an attitude that we can choose that makes life better for ourselves and for other people.” Dr. Robert Emmons, U. of California, The Psychology of Gratitude Gratitude exercises can do more than lift one's mood. At the University of California at Davis, psychologist Robert Emmons found they improve physical health, raise energy levels and, for patients with neuromuscular disease, relieve pain and fatigue. TIME
How to be grateful Change your perceptions Choose gratitude and overcome inner resistance
Gratitude is a choice Discontentment has a gravitational pull. Studies by Psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi (‘chick-SENT-me-high’) in which thousands of individuals were given pagers that went off at random intervals. They were to write down what they were doing, thinking and feeling when the pager went off. “When people were alone, undistracted by outside stimuli, they reported a drift toward discontent, a sense of inadequacy, anxiety about the future and chronic self-preoccupation.”
How to be grateful Change your perceptions Choose gratitude and overcome inner resistance Discipline yourself toward gratitude
I’d be grateful if I had more Studies have shown that once a person has enough for life’s basic needs, additional income does little to raise one’s sense of satisfaction with life. Life satisfaction seems to be independent of circumstances like education, age or weather. Only religious faith and having friends seemed to elevate people’s perception of life satisfaction. Lottery winners did not wind up significantly happier than a control group. Amputees and paraplegics demonstrate a surprising level of happiness. TIME
Give Thanks Live a life of gratitude
Gratitude The state of being grateful; warm and friendly feeling toward a benefactor; kindness awakened by a favor received; thankfulness. Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others. Cicero "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~ Melody Beattie ~
What does it take to be grateful? Be a recipient Of something –You value –Beyond what you would expect From someone