This is Thanksgiving week. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and the readiness to show appreciation and return kindness. Harvard Medical School writes that “The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. Gratitude encompasses all of these. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what you receive, tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies ...at least partially... outside themselves. Gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves.
This week is Homelessness and Hunger Awareness Week. Mental health is an essential component of your overall life experience. It impacts all domains of life including physical, spiritual, vocational, and relational. One area of life where a person’s mental health has a big impact is in housing. Surveys indicate that close to half of people who are homeless have a mental health diagnosis. Often depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress can underlie the series of life occurrences that lead a person to homelessness. I would encourage all of us to think of the ways in which we can help those experiencing housing insecurity.
One international study published just this month reports that people who had a strong sense of meaning and purpose in their life were more resilient, especially in relation to Covid-specific stress. What are some things that give us a sense of purpose? Caring for someone who needs your help, an activity or hobby that is meaningful such as gardening or cooking, or being part of a group that connects you with others such as a service club or a church. So if you find yourself stressed don't do less, do more of what gives you a sense of purpose.