Thanksgiving is a time for counting our blessings and feeling and sharing our gratitude. I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of gratitude and how great it can make you feel to stop and recount the gifts you’ve received. And, when I ponder something, I begin reading and researching it.
First of all, there’s a lot of research and writing about gratitude. In the Harvard Health Publication article In Praise of Gratitude, they shared health studies conducted on those who practiced regular expressions of gratitude and concluded that, “… 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.” It is thought to be so good for us, that my research produced many resources suggesting that our public education system should incorporate the teaching of gratitude practices to enhance both the mental and physical health of our youth.
What amazes me is how easy gratitude SHOULD be for us – it doesn’t cost anything to generate grateful thoughts and the “medicine” of gratitude doesn’t have any adverse side effects for me to list! So, why are we so challenged to regularly get in touch with our gifts and blessings – outside of the holiday season or special occasions? Why do we (me included!) have to be reminded by the calendar or sentimental marketing messages to appreciate all that we have?
We regularly blog encouraging gratitude practices like keeping a daily blessings journal, calendaring a time each week to acknowledge someone in your life or on your team, or practicing prayer or meditation to quiet our urgent and often negative self-talk and really see how blessed you are.
What could your family and your firm be like if you established gratitude as a core value?
What would happen if you asked everyone on your team to keep a blessings journal or started every meeting with each person sharing one thing they are grateful for today?
How would your life change if you made a commitment to personally thank 365 people – one each day of every day next year?
What ideas do you have for how you (and others) can cultivate more gratitude – and the wonderful health benefits it brings – in your life and the lives of others? Please share them as we can all benefit from them!
And, please enjoy this wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We are truly blessed to do work that we love and work with people like you who are committed to make our world a better, more leaderly place. May God’s blessings be with you, your family and your team and thank you for contributing your gifts and special magic in our lives.