Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:20 

I once read an alarming statistic estimating that around 51,000,000 turkeys are consumed each year in the United States on Thanksgiving day. Yes, over fifty million turkeys fall victim to our country in preparation of the national holiday that we call Thanksgiving! A holiday that most of us just celebrated by stuffing ourselves full of some of the highest ranking comfort foods known to man. After the glorious feast, I would be bold enough to claim that 99% of us then took part in the most legendary nap of the year, making for yet again, another great Thanksgiving day!

As you can tell, I am a big fan of this holiday! As a college student, any home cooked meal is incredible, but Thanksgiving meal specifically holds a special place in my heart! Its the one meal of the year that you prep your stomachs nearly a week in advance in order to consume the maximum amount of food possible! Its also the one day of the year you have a valid excuse to pry a thanksgiving confession out of your pessimistic friend or relative. At first you get a negative remark, shortly followed by the confession. I always notice, that whether its extremely heartfelt or not, that friend or relative is always happier after saying one thing they are thankful for! If saying what you are thankful for tends to make you happy, why then do we typically reserve our confessions for only one day of the year? What would our lives look like if we made thanksgiving not just a holiday, but a lifestyle? More importantly, what would this world look like?

There's an old saying that if you've forgotten the language of gratitude, you'll never be on speaking terms with happiness. It turns out this isn't just a fluffy idea. Several studies have shown depression to be inversely correlated to gratitude. It seems that the more grateful a person is, the less depressed they are. Not that any of us are depressed, but don’t you suppose that the more grateful a person is, in term, the happier they will also be?

There is one very practical way to increase your gratitude that I would like to invite all of you to try! Every night, before you go to bed, make it a goal to write down three things you are thankful for that day. Try to make these things you write down new each day, and do your best to stick with it for 21 days! After all, they do say it takes on average 21 days to form a habit! You will find that as your brain is scanning for the positive, it will actually get better at seeking out the positive over a course of time. As a result, your neural pathways will become stronger, and more frequently engaged at recognizing positive occurrences throughout your day, thus increasing your positivity, and happiness! Have you ever noticed that happiness is contagious? So lets be the light, and spread the joy! Not just on a holiday, but every day!

I encourage you to write down three things you are thankful for tonight! And if you are fresh out of things to be thankful for, remember 1 Chronicles 16:34 which says “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, and His love endures forever.”

Eric Stelzer

2nd Year Student Blogger