How does giving thanks help us?

Thank you for finding this blog post. I like to start my blog post with giving thanks for my readers. The title of this blog post I have Duckduckgo search engine to thank.

I confess that I am not very good at giving thanks. I know I should do it more. I know it’s supposed to be a healthy thing to do. Recent research about our brains has found more scientific evidence for what gratitude does for each person. Here’s a few of the many health benefits of gratitude:

  • Less bothered by aches and pains
  • Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking
  • More alert, alive, and awake
  • More joy, pleasure, and happiness

It seems to me that in the recent years, there’s a lot more chatter about gratitude, like the neurological benefits, and how giving thanks (more often using the word gratitude than giving thanks) has become more mainstream with gratitude journal, with Oprah talking about it (there’s an indicator of mainstreaming). Here’s a popular video that has helped people feel more gratitude to give more thanks.

Acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg’s TEDx talk on gratitude went viral (meaning it got millions of views, and counting). For those you who are visual, watch this and feel how gratitude starts to gush to overflowing.


This blog is my experiment in learning how to talk with who I understand God to be. I say it’s an experiment because I’m looking to finding words to use in my God-conversations that are understandable by people from whatever faith tradition, or not. I’ve learned a few things along the way. That’ll have to be for a future post.

Now, it is only appropriate that this week of Thanksgiving that we all learn how to give thanks for all that we have in life, and all that we don’t have in life, for everything that we can think of and things we can’t readily think of too.

As I turn my attention to talk to God, you can listen in, or shall I say, you can read along.

Thank you for this day. It’s always a gift to have another day, another moment, another breath. From the very beginning, you are the one who breathed life into every person. And that is still what you do for me and for everyone today. Thank you that I live in a place here in Southern California that has clean air to breathe. I hope that good people will make the air cleaner for those places with lots of smog and dirty air, so that people there can live better.

Thank you for giving so many life experiences already. I’ve heard of people who’ve never been on an airplane or never been out of their city or state. Thank you for the opportunities to travel for my work during the past 17 years, sometimes more than others. I’ve gotten to visit most of the major cities in the United States. You know how much I love city life. My favorites are New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. I’d love to visit those places again real soon. I hope you can help me get there. Thank you for the nice hotel rooms and beds I could sleep in. I also remember the times when I couldn’t get a good night sleep because I couldn’t get the blanket temperature right. It was either too hot or too cold. But even there, I can say thank you for a good room and a good bed.

I know there are people who don’t have their basic needs met, shelter and food, even clean water. I can only do a little bit to help, compared to people who are in positions of power and people who have been gifted with the skills to make lots and lots of wealth. The uneven distribution of those who have goods and those who have barely anything is not a good thing.

I hope you will do something big very soon to change the hearts of those who have the abundance of resources to be more than charitable. Just a handful of generous givers can change the course of history and create a new future. Thank you for good examples of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Thank you for the world-changing ideas being shared on the TED stage. It’s a hopeful time when people from all backgrounds and faiths and non-faith are doing good things to make the world a better place. There’s so much more to do. But we’re seeing more good today, though we’re also seeing bad things too. That’s what tends to generate content in the news cycle, unfortunately.

I was talking with a friend that works as a financial advisor. He was telling me that many of his clients don’t even think about donating some of their money to charitable causes. None at all. Even though the way the income tax system is setup so that the taxpayer can either pay the government taxes or they can donate to charity. I’d like to think that giving to charity is better than giving to government. But, no, there are people who don’t give it a thought. If I meet someone like that, give me the courage and grace to know how to steer that conversation to open their mind and heart towards generosity. Maybe they don’t even have to call it generosity. They could think of it as having a say at how their hard-earned money gets used instead of defaulting it to government programs. And, then as they experience the difference they are making through their giving, they will experience more joy, more gratitude, and more generosity.

I didn’t expect my prayer here to steer to the topic of money. But that is such a heart issue, now, isn’t it? That’s why Jesus put God and money in juxtaposition. Thank you for giving me gifts and skills and education and health over the 5 decades of my life to be gainfully employed and able to provide for myself, for my family, and to have extra money that we can give away.

Lastly, I ask for wisdom about my future and how money has to be a part of that. There’s a lot about money and finances that I just don’t understand, and frankly, I don’t care to understand, and I’m not interested. I’d much rather think about other things. But money is a part of living a responsible life. I know I’ve done as little as I possibly can to manage money. Thank you for being my safety net and keeping my desires and wants in check, so that we’ve been able to avoid debt.

Well, that’s all I’ve got to say for now. Thank you for this week of Thanksgiving. Thank you for bringing me closer to my family this year. Thank you for helping me through the hard times this year. I know I’m not out of the woods yet. So keep helping me, please. I can use all the help I can get. Thank you. Talk with you later.

P.S. here’s some more goodies on gratitude I found for my readers: