December 10, 2023

Rural Issues: Giving thanks can make you happier

Several studies by reputable psychologists from The University of California, Davis, and University of Miami and University of Pennsylvania, published in a Harvard Health report, found that giving thanks can make you happier.

The August 2021 Harvard Health report article concluded: “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.”

I admit that I chuckled when I read that money and time was invested in researching something that most of us, through life experience, have already concluded.

We do not need scientific data to prove that being grateful makes our lives and the lives of those with whom we come in contact so much better.

It has become customary for me to write about that for which I am thankful in this Thanksgiving-week column.

Some things, like deep and meaningful friendships, a loving family, a challenging and rewarding career and good health are always at the top of my list.

Like many other farmers and ranchers, we experienced — and are experiencing — drought in 2022. For the rains that came, although light and almost too late to make much of a difference, I am grateful.

I am grateful for the high speed Wi-Fi internet on our farm. We are fortunate that our local electric cooperative was a pioneer in providing this fiber-optic option, so I can connect as needed for my job off the farm and for those times we need to connect for farm business.

I am thankful for the customers who buy Rocking P Ranch cattle for their farms and beef for their freezers. I am thankful for good genetics and a husband who is a masterful stockman.

I am grateful for modern technology and old-fashioned horse sense. I appreciate a good joke and a belly laugh, hot coffee on a chilly morning and the big bald eagles that show up on our farm this time of year.

I am thankful for corny jokes and a good sense of humor. Let’s be honest — there’s nothing more therapeutic than a good knock-knock joke that brings on a good belly laugh and tears to your eyes!

In previous columns, I have mentioned my 10-year-old friends who happen to be triplets. In a recent conversation — just the four of us — Calvin said he had been wondering why Santa Claus chose Jesus’ birthday to deliver gifts. Alana thought that was a good thing to think about.

Dalayna said she thinks Santa chose the day because if you have been good all year, don’t you deserve a treat? Calvin quickly rebutted that it is our job to be good all year.

From the mouths of babes.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is my hope that we all fulfill the meaning of the word and actively express our thankfulness for the many blessings in our lives.

We should be good all year.

It is our job.

Cyndi Young-Puyear

Cyndi Young-Puyear

Cyndi Young-Puyear is farm director and operations manager for Brownfield Network.