‘Tis the season! Yes, it is here and it seems to have arrived ever so quickly. As I’m pondering what I want to create for my experience of this season, I realize I want to create this season to be one full of gratitude.
Mirriam-Webster defines gratitude as simply the state of being grateful. The English Language Learners definition of gratitude is a feeling of appreciation or thanks.
While researching the impacts of gratitude I ran across an article Giving thanks can make you happier by Harvard Health Publishing. Here’s what I found about the benefits of gratitude:
- Expressing gratitude can lift the spirits of those of us that feel anxious or just feel lost or overwhelmed at this time of the year.
- Gratitude helps us realize that there is goodness in our lives and results in our connecting to something larger than ourselves.
- In positive psychology, gratitude is associated with greater happiness as we feel more positive emotions and relish good experiences.
- It can improve our health, our ability to deal with adversity, and build stronger relationships.
I know I feel so much better when I can claim an attitude of gratitude.
I started thinking what a great intention, but how will I do this. I will cultivate this attitude of gratitude through this holiday season. Here are three actions I’ve decided to take:
- Write a thank-you note every day, beginning today. I am going to either hand write and mail a thank-you note (what an original idea!) , or send an email or call someone and thank them for the impact they have had or are having on my life. Yes, that’s 40 messages out to people up to the end of the year.
- Resurrect my gratitude journal and write in it three things I am grateful for everyday. This, too, will be my next 40 day practice.
- And from the Harvard article: “Meditate. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment without judgment. Although people often focus on a word or phrase (such as “peace”), it is also possible to focus on what you’re grateful for (the warmth of the sun, a pleasant sound, etc.).”
Here’s my day one thank-you note:
I am so grateful to each of you who support my work. You inspire me to keep moving forward.
What is your practice that helps you maintain an attitude of gratitude?
Written by Pat Obuchowski