Hidden Benefits of Gratitude


Dear MotionWorks Family,

I don’t know about you, but there has been a lot going on in my little world lately.  And I would like to say it’s a lot of great things happening, but quite honestly, it’s mostly not.  It’s been a lot like the weather in November- drab, dreary, dark, and depressing at times.  Evil and divisiveness is winning everywhere I look.  And given that we are still battling COVID 19 months later, I am quite certain I’m not the only one feeling this way.

That’s why it’s quite advantageous that of all the months to take one full day to celebrate thankfulness to God for all He has provided for us, November is it!  I was just thinking this morning about what those original Pilgrims were thinking.  How reliant they had learned to become on God for not just happy and fun first-world things, but for their very survival in the New World up to that point.  If there is anything I have learned with my recent health trials in life, it is how wonderful it is to commune with our Savior in the darkest and deepest valleys of life.  He is there and He is faithful.  We have so very much to be thankful for!  The irony is that we realize this most in the moments when we feel we have lost it all.

The other amazing thing about Thanksgiving is that it is something all of us can do as a nation, on one day, every year.  One thing we all can agree on in this divided nation of ours are the benefits of taking time to be grateful.   I’m not kidding- there is research on this!  According to Harvard, having an attitude of gratitude has been scientifically proven to make people happier.  It has been linked to improved physical health, improved mental and emotional well-being, being resilient in the face of adversity, building stronger relationships, and enjoying more positive experiences in life.  Subjects in one study spent 10 weeks journaling things that they were thankful for, and they reaped the benefits of less stress, exercised more frequently, and had a more optimistic outlook on life.

So this Thanksgiving as you gather with family and friends around the table, take some time to truly reflect on not only what you are thankful for, but how you can incorporate gratitude into your everyday thinking and way of life.  No doubt you will find yourself less irritated and more motivated to spread joy and kindness, and yes, a heart of gratitude wherever you go.  And that is something all of us need to shine some light in the darkness all around us.

Thanksgiving Blessings

Dr. Jill Murphy
Owner, MotionWorks Physical Therapy