On the eve of one of the busiest travel days of the year I wish to invite the reader into a rhythm and practice that has its roots in our Christian tradition (eucharistia) and is shared by other traditions. The bio-psycho-social-spiritual benefits of this practice are well documented as the posture of gratitude can impact metabolic processes, how one feels, relates to others, and how one thinks. The article below is taken from the “Book of Daily Affirmations” published by Spirituality and Health Magazine.

Oprah attributes much of her success to the power of gratitude—that right there is enough to get anyone to count their blessings. A study from Harvard suggested that expressing thanks could be one of the simplest ways to feel better.
 
I feel that … and I believe it. The more I put a gratitude practice into play, the more I am convinced that it works wonders on uplifting the spirit and also with manifesting the things I actually want in life (and not what I’m complaining about and inadvertently attracting). In my experience, gratitude also helps with stress. If I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed, I change my attention on the things that I am grateful for (even having to do with the situation at hand). Since, the quality of life is all about perception, the simple shift in consciousness to gratitude makes all the difference.
 

It’s really a simple and short practice. Say the affirmations and feel the thankfulness deeply in your heart. Sometimes a simple affirmation like, “I’m so thankful for my family,” can just about get my eyes to water and fill me with immense joy.
 

Even if an affirmation doesn’t seem “true” at the time, still feel it as if it were. This is the power of affirmations—they bring us closer to what we want by feeling that they’re already in our reach.
 

Here are some gratitude affirmations to make your day just that much better.
 

God is the source of my hope and strength.
I experience gratitude for everything I have in my life.
I always receive exactly what I ask for and appreciate that.
I am grateful for excellent health, prosperity and true love.
My life is filled with an abundance of goodness.
All challenges are an opportunity for growth and I am thankful for the chance to evolve.
I am so grateful for supportive friends and a loving family.
I appreciate everything I have in my life and always keep the door open for more blessings.
The universe supports me and all my desires.
I am the co-creator of my reality.
I see the beauty in nature that surrounds me.
I see animals as sacred and appreciate the gifts they give.
I give thanks for the helpful spirits and ancestors that guide me in this life journey.
I am blessed.
I feel gratitude for the all!
I experience gratitude for everything I have in my life.
I see the beauty in nature that surrounds me.
I feel gratitude
for the all!
 

–Bess O’Connor”

Thanksgiving as practice is a way of living, not something we pause to do in honor of an American holiday. Thankfulness in all things is a deep spiritual discipline that is the fruit of an examined life and a life whose faith has been tested.

So, as you gather around your tables this Thanksgiving, remember the source of your life that makes all things new and possible.

Steve Scoggin
An ordained Baptist minister, Professor, licensed professional counselor, certified Franklin Covey facilitator, and Associate Certified Coach, Steve is President of CareNet., Inc., a wholly owned Subsidiary of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Along with his responsibilities of providing leadership to a statewide outpatient counseling network of 32 clinics he also is Adjunct Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He specializes in executive coaching and consulting having worked with executives and organizations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. He is a coach and consultant for CHC.