A Journey of Gratitude

As we plan to gather for Thanksgiving this year, I know that we as a nation continue to face many challenges, first and foremost COVID-19. However, I do believe that each of us have much to be thankful for.  The poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said, “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and give thanks continuously.”

I started thinking, how frequently do I practice gratitude outside of a holiday? Personally, I must admit, not enough.  So, I did a bit of research on the impact of gratitude and learned:

 Gratitude encourages giving and giving encourages more gratitude and the circle continues…the pay it forward concept.

 Persons who practice gratitude are more empathetic and helpful to their fellow employees which can create a positive culture in the workplace.

 Gratitude can help improve sleep.  This is something that I practice when I cannot fall asleep. I think of all that I have to be grateful for, and yes, sleep comes quickly.

 Gratitude can also help improve your physical health, including memory, blood pressure and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and cortisol levels.

If you are worrying now, as I am, that you are not experiencing gratitude as much as you should, there are ways you can “cultivate” gratitude in your life.

These are a few of the actions that Ryan and I are taking:

– We are resurrecting the gratitude journal he began last year.  Each morning after breakfast he writes something he is grateful for. He loved this and he filled a notebook, but then we got busy. Oh well, it’s time to resurrect it.

 Write thank you notes (Ryan writes emails) to people who do an act of kindness for him.  I find that people love getting a handwritten mailed note, especially in these times when social connections are so limited.

 Have positive notes somewhere in your office/home that makes you stop and feel gratitude.  We post a note on our refrigerator. Every time we open the door it makes us stop and think what we are grateful for. We are grateful for so much, including our health, our community, our family, our creative and committed staff, our organization, our country….yes, the list could go on forever!

So, what are you grateful for?????

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ryan and Maureen

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