Inhale Blessings, Exhale Gratitude
Gratitude is always the foundation of an abundant path
Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have – unknown
As the Thanksgiving holiday arrives this week, the staff at Thrive wanted to express our gratitude for all who have been instrumental in making our vision come to life. Construction is soon underway and we look forward to sharing all of this with each of you in the new year. We are grateful for the talented individuals we have had to guide our new venture as well as the support of family and friends who have embarked on this path with each of us.
One of our goals for our new facility is to create an environment where every individual can achieve their optimal state of health. We strive to achieve optimal wellbeing of mind, body and spirit and within that lies the importance of gratitude. Developing an “Attitude of Gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to reach this goal. As we gather round the table this year, we need to spend a few moments reflecting on what giving thanks and expressing gratitude can mean for our health and wellbeing.
Thanksgiving finds its roots way back to 1621, when Pilgrims and Native North Americans celebrated a day to give thanks to their Creator for a good harvest, health, and their many blessings. More than 200y later, in 1861, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed this growing tradition as a national holiday to be celebrated each November. Unfortunately, we frequently lose sight of the original focus of this treasured holiday. Society brings focus to our wants and desires, losing ground to the act of practicing gratitude for the blessings we already have.
The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. The word gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. An individual can be thankful for tangible and intangible things and recognize that the source of goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. Gratitude is also an emotion expressing appreciation for what one has – as opposed a consumer-driven emphasis on what one wants.
It is through gratitude for the present moment that spiritual dimension of life opens up –Eckhart Tolle
There has been a great deal of attention paid to gratitude as of late. Studies have shown that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude and increase our well-being and happiness. As a result, energy, optimism, empathy can all increase.
There are a whole host of health benefits of practicing gratitude
1. Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people are are likely to exercise more and take better care of their health. This can improve overall vitality and longevity
2. Gratitude improves psychological health. A leading gratitude researcher, Robert A Emmons, Ph D, has conducted extensive studies on gratitude which have linked gratitude to improved well-being. Resentment, frustration, regret, envy, depression and many more are reduced while happiness improves.
3. Gratitude improves sleep. Starting a gratitude journal has been shown to help you sleep longer and better. This can be achieved by journaling nightly for 10-15min before bed.
4. Gratitude improved self-esteem. Studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons to other individuals and norms. Individuals who are more grateful tend to also appreciate success of others. As a result, we tend to see the good in ourselves more often.
5. Gratitude increased mental strength. Research has consistently shown that gratitude reduces stress and can play a role in overcoming trauma. Resilience, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, is fostered by practicing gratitude.
Never let a day pass without looking for the good, feeling the good within you, praising, appreciating, blessing, and being grateful. Make it your life commitment, and you will stand in utter awe of what happens in your life. –Rhonda Byrne
Start this week with three simple ways to bring more gratitude to your life
1. Start by keeping a gratitude journal. Consider what you have. Count your blessings. Jot these things down and reflect on them over time.
2. Thank someone who is a regular part of your life. Make a phone call, or better yet, send a personal thank you note.
3. Take time to reflect quietly. Mindfulness Meditation is one skill that has gained increased awareness. It involves focusing on the present moment without judgement.
Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot – Hausa proverb
Practice gratitude across all spans of time = past, present and future
Past – recall positive memories, past blessings
Present – appreciating what you currently have.
Future – practicing an optimistic attitude
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. – William Ward
Be thankful for what you have. You’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. –Oprah Winfrey
When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. –Willie Nelson
Be kind, be thoughtful, be genuine, But most of all, Be thankful – unknown