Gratitude at Thanksgiving Goes a Long Way

By Ashlend Laparra

Thanksgiving is around the corner and College of Southern Nevada students are expressing gratitude this November regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there have been mental health challenges related to COVID-19. In a survey conducted this year 40.9% of participants reported suffering from either anxiety, depression, stress or trauma relating to the pandemic.

Despite personal struggles, CSN students are remembering to stay thankful for what they have.

Tiffany Miller, CSN student, explained that perspective is everything. “I believe every experience I go through serves some purpose, whether that purpose is to motivate me, to cause me to reflect and change a pattern that is no longer serving me or to tell me which direction to go in next. In choosing to view things as positively as possible, I enjoy my life more and stress less.”

According to Harvard Medical School in its Harvard Health Publishing’s article titled “Giving Thanks can Make you Happier” there are mental benefits to giving thanks. Gratitude can improve happiness and help people deal with adversity.

Amir Owens, CSN student, felt the mental benefits of a positive mindset. “With the times getting crazier I’ve been more grateful for what I have.”

CSN student Mykael Thomas also agreed that a good mindset helped her. “A positive perspective can certainly help during times like these simply because a positive outlook can change the mood of anything you do.”

According to the Harvard article noted above, there are a few ways to cultivate gratefulness: thanking others, having appreciation, writing thank-you notes and meditating are all ways to increase happiness.

Miller appreciated what she has this holiday season. “I’m thankful for the health of my friends and family, the outcome of the election, the opportunity to get an education, the love of my partner and getting to be my son’s mom.”

Thomas cultivated gratitude by helping her community. “What I am most thankful for this holiday season is my health. I don’t mean that because I didn’t get Coronavirus; I mean that as in I am healthy enough to go out and help others.”

It is proven that volunteering and helping others has a positive effect on an individual’s mental health. A research paper published by BioMed Central, which provides access to hundreds of peer-reviewed journals, claimed that volunteering positively effected depression, social well-being and life satisfaction.  

Thomas spent the last year buying groceries for those with underlying health conditions and taking care of her family. “I have the ability and means to help others and as long as I can brighten someone’s day or assist them in any way, then I will always remain thankful for that.”

%d bloggers like this: