Maybe you've heard: giving thanks makes you feel happier and more fulfilled. There are at least 7 scientifically proven benefits to practicing the “attitude of gratitude”. And right now, as we enter the Thanksgiving Holiday season, the media is filled with heartwarming stories of all we should be thankful for.
Today, I'm going to suggest you be thankful for the bad stuff. The challenges. The tragedies. The pain.
In today's show, we'll discover:
- The shocking truth about suicide rates during the holidays.
- The 3 dangers of “counting your blessings”.
- The 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude.
- The 5 unconventional times to practice thankfulness.
- How the attitude of gratitude makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise.
- Why you can be thankful for the trials, and not just through them.
- Plus, I'll share a tip for how to get your podcast ranked higher in iTunes, quick and easy.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
– James 1:2-8
All those things that seem to oppose our goals are actually the raw material for achieving them.
– Dan Sullivan
You can be thankful for trials, and truly count it all joy, not because God is teaching you a lesson, but because when approached with faith, trials always lead to victory. God doesn't cause everything, but He can use everything.
Tip Of the Week
How do you get your podcast ranked higher in iTunes? It comes down to 2 key factors, according to my buddy Cliff Ravenscraft:
- Recent new subscribers in iTunes, using the Apple Podcast App.
- Recent new downloads in iTunes, using the Apple Podcast App.
It is my opinion that high star ratings and favorable reviews somehow factor into the equation as well.
5 Unconventional Times To Practice Thankfulness (How The Attitude Of Gratitude Makes You Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)
This is is season for bloggers and podcasters to roll out their “Thanksgiving posts”. And I do believe we all have a lot to be thankful for.
Of course, it's easy to be thankful when you live in a nice warm house, are privileged to indulge in gluttony, and watch multi-million dollar entertainment spectacles piped into your home virtually free of charge. Especially if you're healthy, and are in the top 10% of the world's wealthiest people.
Before you argue that last point, let me assure you that if you live in any modern country, especially in the USA or Canada, you almost certainly are. Check for yourself. I'll wait.
Just in case you didn't check, according to the Global Rich List website, if you make $14,000 per year in the USA, you're in the top 9.52% of the richest people in the world by income. So get grateful.
The Shocking Truth About Suicide Rates During The Holidays
Normally, this is where a blogger or podcaster would tell you about suicide rates surging up dramatically during the holidays. The convetinal wisdom is that we should exercise great discipline in being thankful during this time of year, because otherwise, we may, like so many, slip into depression.
The problem with this is that it's simply wrong.
Suicides do not go up during the holidays. They are, in fact, at their lowest rates of the year. But don't just take my word for it: The Health Central website says:
There is a well known reduction in the suicide rate on major public holidays (including non-religious). Many studies in different Western countries have found the drop is even more pronounced during the Christmas to New Year's stretch. Read the whole article here.
The Wall Street Journal looked into this a few years ago, and their conlusion is that suicides dip in the winter, and peak in the spring. They back it up with solid reearch:
Studies from around the world suggest the key factor is climate, rather than the calendar. In the U.S. from 1999 to 2004, the six highest months in terms of suicides per day were March through August, not in that order, with a peak in July, according to my analysis of numbers provided by the CDC. (The seasonal variation isn’t extreme; the daily averages range from 76.3 suicides in December to 87.6 in July.) Other northern hemisphere countries such as Switzerland and Lithuania exhibit the same trend as the U.S. Suicide rates rise in England and Wales on hotter days, according to a study this year. In Singapore, near the equator, there was little seasonal effect. In the southern hemisphere, suicide rates peak in December. Climate’s role isn’t totally understood; some researchers have linked suicide’s seasonality to the amount of sunshine.
What do we conclude? One obvious possibility is that becuase people are practicing gratitude more intetionally during the holidays, they are less likely to kill themselves. So that's a big point in favor of “the attitude of gratitude”. However, don't skip this next part, because I want you to know…
The 3 Surprising Dangers Of “Counting Your Blessings”
- Denial and gratitude are not the same thing. If you're swimming in the alligator tank, all the gratitude in the world is unlikely to keep you from being some lizard's dinner.
- Giving thanks only for the “good stuff” can bottle up poisonous thinking and emotions. It suppresses, refuses to deal with, and thereby strengthens, the power of unresolved pain.
- Your glib attiude and lack of empathy can hurt other people. You must be sensitive to what is happening with the people around you.
Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.
A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
The 5 Unconventional Times To Practice Thankfulness
- When you a depressed.
- When you are lonely.
- When you are ill.
- When you lose someone you love.
- When tragedy strikes.
How has “the attitude of gratitude” helped you deepen your faith… how has it make you healthier, wealthier, and wiser?
How To Help
Subscribe to the show in iTunes and give us a rating and review. Make sure you put your real name and website in the text of the review itself. We will definitely mention you on this show.
We are also on Stitcher.com, so if you prefer Stitcher, please subscribe there.
Connect with Ray on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn.
Get The Transcript
Click here to get the transcript now. Transcripts provided by SuccessTranscripts – a great solution if you need your podcast, sermon, speech, or other audio transcribed.