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Give thanks
It’s a healthy thing to do
Turkey Trot

Happy Thanksgiving, readers. If you’re reading this issue of the Great Bend Tribune in the print version delivered by a faithful letter carrier, it is probably the day AFTER Thanksgiving, with Thursday being a holiday. A reliable postal service is something to be thankful for.

Here at the Tribune, we’re thankful for everyone who reads the newspaper and for everyone who supports it by advertising and/or subscribing. We are humbled to know there are people who are thankful for their local news source and people who rely on this service or enjoy the content.

This month, a challenge was made to show daily gratitude. Each day for 30 days, the assignment was to list three things for which we are thankful. If successfully completed, at the end of the month the list will contain 90 things.

Why do this? Well, in our case, the suggestion came from the health insurance company. Each month, a wellness program suggests healthy activities such as “walk 1 mile a day” or “give up caffeine for 30 days.” We’ll skip that last one – caffeine is something to be thankful for!

There is evidence that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. According to Harvard Health, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

Gratitude is a quality that can be cultivated or self-taught. There are multiple ways to feel and express gratitude:

• Recall a positive memory from the past or be thankful for past blessings.

• Express thanks for the present, not taking good fortune for granted.

• Maintain a hopeful and optimistic attitude for the present and the future.

• Pay it forward, sharing your blessings with others.

The Mayo Clinic Health System also touts the benefits of being thankful. According to the Mayo Clinic, expressing gratitude is associated with a host of mental and physical benefits: improved sleep, mood and immunity, and decreased depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and risk of disease.

A bit of exercise after the Thanksgiving feast is also healthy.

We could cite other sources that claim there is scientific evidence, but you get the idea. Ancient philosophers knew this as well. The Greek philospher Plato (423 BC – 348 BC) reportedly said, “A grateful mind is a great mind which eventually attracts to itself great things.”

Have a grateful Giving Thanks Day and don’t forget to share the gratitude.

— Susan Thacker