Thankful for the power of gratitude

Have you given thanks today?

Have you given thanks today?

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s a beautiful time to remember the power of gratitude in our lives.

“Without gratitude, life can be lonely, depressing and impoverished,” said Dr. Robert Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California. “Gratitude enriches human life. It elevates, energizes, inspires and transforms. People are moved, opened and humbled through expressions of gratitude.”

I used to think that happy people just had a lot to be grateful for.

But as experience has proven time and time again, just being grateful even amongst chaos — or more so, especially amongst chaos — somehow is what brings more happiness and things to be grateful for.

There is so much more science around the subject now that it’s worth giving this gratitude business a shot.

These 30-day gratitude challenges are really worth a shot if you’re looking to cultivate more things to be grateful for.

Take the time daily to write out what you are grateful for — even if it’s not in your life at this point and see how things unfold. Consistency is key.

Scientists from the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California are finding an increased correlation in health with those who practise gratitude more consistently.

Grateful people have been known to not only experience more joy, optimism and happiness, but are showing to have stronger immune systems and lowered blood pressure. It’s healthy to be grateful!

Even the history of Thanksgiving in Canada was not actually based on giving thanks for harvest, which it is mostly related to now.

It is actually said to be traced back to a voyager from England named Martin Frobisher in 1578.

Travelling to find a passage to the Pacific Ocean in Northern Canada, his crew of 15 ships experienced “freak storms,” including run-ins with icebergs, and much havoc.

One of the ships was lost that included all of the building material to start their small settlement.

The crew was disbursed, but when reconnected they gave thanks for the miraculous divine mystery that brought them to safety — a great reminder to always show gratitude and thanks for the gifts of life even amongst havoc.

Emmons describes gratitude as a “chosen attitude.” Something we all can choose to cultivate a little more of in our lives.

This Thanksgiving, amongst the harvest, the food, the safety, the friends and family, ask yourself: “What can you be more grateful for?”

Me? It’s dairy free pumpkin cheesecake. Happy Thanksgiving!

Dairy Free Pumpkin Cheesecake

Chocolate pecan crust (from www.puretoraw.com)

1 cup pecans

½ cup cocoa (raw cocoa preferred)

6 dates, pitted

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch sea salt

Blend in food processor and press into 8-or 9-inch springform pan.

Filling

2 cups cashews

1 cup baked yam

½ cup melted coconut 0il

½ cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

Blend in Vitamix and pour over crust

Kristin Fraser, BSc, is a holistic nutritionist and local freelance writer. Her column appears every second Thursday. She can be reached at kristin@somethingtochewon.ca.