Grace Baek/ Portola HS 9th
As young children, one of the first phrases that we are taught to say is “Thank you.” We have been trained at a young age to say thank you before or after a meal, to the cashier, or the waitress but never have we been taught what it means to be thankful. Now, “thanks” is a passing phrase most people say several times a day, often times unconsciously. Yet, this word is one of the most powerful that carries an important message.
November 1st marks the first day of Thanksgiving season. This holiday particularly reminds individuals of gratitude and inspires us to reflect, bringing a new perspective into our lives. But soon enough, feelings of gratitude ebb away as the season comes to an end. We pack up those feelings and lock it up in a basement attic, which stays there, untouched, until the following year. Everything’s still there, it’s just that we move on with our busy lives until the season starts once again, reminding us to then be thankful.
Heejae Park believes that “although the importance of appreciation doesn’t decrease, Thanksgiving season reminds me to think about it more.” Similarly, Allen Liu added that “because gratefulness is enforced during this time of the year, [he] thinks about it more.” However, when we do this, we are missing out on the opportunity of choosing to be thankfulness and experiencing its benefits all year long. Here are some reasons why we should be thankful all year long.
1.. Thankfulness promotes positivity and fights back negativity.
Gratitude magnifies positivity and it has been scientifically proven that grateful people are less prone to depression, more resistant to stress, and have higher self esteem. Because they look at the world in a pure perspective, they tend to have stronger social relationships.
2.. Thankfulness allows us to enjoy our present state.
Most of the time, we do not realize the good that we have in our life until it’s gone. However, those that are grateful understand this, which is the reason why they are fully involved and engaged on present value of our lives. They realize that they are much more fortunate than they give themselves credit for, and understand that not everything in life is taken for granted. Life is always going to have ups and downs, hardships, disappointment, and regret, so those that are thankful for even this aspect means that they are part of, and creating somewhat of a miracle.
3.. Thankfulness improves physical health.
In addition to mental and social benefits that were already mentioned above, being thankful also enhances the physical health. Gratitude lowers blood pressure, strengthens immunity, helps with sleeping problems, prevents overeating, and promotes longevity. Exact reasons are not evident, but without a doubt, gratitude gives various different benefits to health.
Gratitude is always a choice, and a privilege. There are so many reasons to be thankful and if we just open our eyes, we can see it all around us. And not just during the Thanksgiving season, but all year long.
<Grace Baek/ Portola HS 9th