Welcome to the biggest bar day of the year. You need to establish a drinking baseline, you know. Get your livers prepped tonight so that the rest of Thanksgiving weekend goes smoothly.
Anyways. Yeah, this post doesn’t have anything to do with alcohol (well, maybe just a little bit), but I thought it would be nice a reminder of what you have to look forward to tonight!
Now, on to the day’s topic.
What does it mean to you?
With Thanksgiving approaching tomorrow I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about GRATITUDE.
Gratitude to me goes beyond the Thanksgiving table. It goes beyond what you are thankful for, what you are happy for.
It goes into so many other things that can help shape who you are as a person all year long, not just during the holidays.
Gratitude empowers you
“If we’re so depressed about what’s going on in the world that we can’t act, what does that serve? So part of what we’re trying to do is keep people connected to gratefulness as a source of activism,” says Kristi Nelson, executive director of gratefulness.org, which describes itself as an online sanctuary dedicated to fostering grateful living. “It’s really powerful to steep ourselves in what we’re grateful for and then act to defend, protect and advance that in the world.”
Helps fight addiction
“There’s a lot of belief that addictions come out of spiritual thirst,” says Nelson, citing a principle of 12-step programs. Gratitude can help you positively reframe not just the present but the past and future. “We have seen people have tremendous breakthroughs in valuing their lives and each other and life itself as a result of focusing on what they have to feel grateful for versus what’s missing in their lives.”
“Gratitude makes people more patient,” says Jeffrey Froh, an associate professor at Hofstra University, referencing the ability to delay gratification. “Future rewards are generally less attractive, but if you’re in a grateful mood you’re more able to wait. If you’re sad or depressed you just want to feel better in the moment, so you eat that whole cheesecake” instead of skipping dessert in favor of your weight-loss goals.
Helps you sleep better
Instead of counting sheep, try counting your blessings. “There are about six good studies now showing that gratitude facilitates better sleep,” Robert Emmons, gratitude scientist says. Almost every benchmark of good sleep — including duration of sleep and the time it takes to fall asleep — is improved by gratitude.
Fosters a sense of community
“The thread of life can unravel very quickly, so we need memories of how we’ve been supported and sustained by other people,” Emmons says. For instance, if a hospital took good care of your spouse, you may be motivated to donate money to help build a new cancer wing. “So much of life is about giving, receiving, repaying benefits; that’s why gratitude is so foundational and fundamental to human beings and to social life. … It’s a cycle of reciprocity.”
Helps fend off depression
Practicing gratitude is linked to more resilience and optimism, Emmons says, recalling one study that found that counting blessings and “gratitude letter writing” reduced the risk of depression in patients by 41% over six months.
Makes you a better spouse
Rather than focusing on “negative attributions” or what you don’t like about your mate, “Focus on what your partner is good at,” Emmons says. With any luck, that praise and affirmation might inspire him or her to improve other aspects of the relationship.
Makes you a better boss and manager
Managers who express gratitude have more productive employees. In turn, “Grateful employees are better employees. They’re more engaged … more efficient,” Emmons says.
There are so many more aspects to gratitude then the few mentioned above.
Gratitude can be connected to spiritualism as most religions cite gratitude as a virtue. It can keep you living longer when you radiate gratitude with positive energy. And, overall, gratitude makes us feel plain good.
According to Emmons, gratitude is just happiness that we recognize after-the fact to have been caused by the kindness of others. Gratitude doesn’t just make us happier, it is happiness in and of itself!
I know. That is a HUGE statement.
A few ways to practice gratitude on a daily basis can be as simple as journaling every day, writing down 5 things that you were grateful for that day.
Helping your spouse with something they need can be a way to express it. Telling a co-worker who works hard that you appreciate them is another way to express gratitude.
Remember, there is no right answer on how to practice showing/feeling/speaking gratitude.
As cheesy as it may sound, follow your heart. Gratitude can hide itself in the smallest of crevices.
I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.