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Daily Connect: Gratitude - good for your health?

Apparently gratitude is good for your health. According to a WSJ article out today, numerous psychological studies have shown that whose who are grateful are measurably happier and healthier than their less grateful counterparts. Although the main study cited is correlative and not causal (proving no more than perhaps that those with actually materially better lives have better attitudes - which seems a trite bit uninspiring as a discovery), a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that individuals who listed things they were grateful for at the beginning of the day for several weeks "had fewer health complaints, exercised more regularly and felt better about their lives" than their peers who had listed annoyances instead.

Compassion and gratitude are deeply connected in Buddhist thought. When we offer mindful reflections of thanks before eating (or really any action), we acknowledge the ultimate interconnectedness of being and the inescapable consequences of our actions for ourselves and others - as well as the deep profundity each moment of presence brings. As Joseph Goldstein notes, "when we feel true gratitude, whether toward particular people or toward life, metta (lovingkindness) will flow from us naturally. When we connect with another person through gratitude, the barriers that separate begin to melt."

Thank you all for your readership. We here at IDP are so so deeply thankful for you. And. If you happen to be in town, we'd love to see you at our holiday fundraiser on Dec. 10th. It will be one big lovefest of thanks and gratitude.

Happy Tuesday loves.

"Thanksgiving" Gatha from Thich Nhat Hanh

This food is the gift of the whole universe – the earth the sky, and much hard work.
May we eat in mindfulness so as to be worthy to receive it.
May we transform our unskillful states of mind and learn to eat with moderation.
May we take only foods that nourish us and prevent illness.
We accept this food to realize the path of understanding and love and joy.

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