I know I’ve written about gratitude before, but it’s a topic worth revisiting and revisiting often. Fall and the upcoming holiday season makes us turn our thoughts to being thankful and being grateful, but we should make a real effort to bring those thoughts into our lives on more of a daily basis. The more time we spend being grateful, the less time we spend feeling sorry for ourselves or our circumstances or our position in life or our looks or our age. “Eileen Caddy said, “Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.” Being thankful for something, for anything, makes your life brighter, your step lighter and your entire attitude more positive.
An article published in the Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publishing states that
“Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics. One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives.”
The same article suggests ways to express gratitude:
Write a thank-you note.
You can make yourself happier and nurture your relationship with another person by writing a thank-you note expressing your enjoyment and appreciation of that person’s impact on your life. Send it, or better yet, deliver and read it in person if possible. Make a habit of sending at least one gratitude letter a month. Once in a while, write one to yourself.
Thank someone mentally.
No time to write? It may help just to think about someone who has done something nice for you and mentally thank the individual.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Make it a habit to write down or share with someone your thoughts about the gifts you’ve received each day.
Count your blessings.
Pick a time every week to sit down and write about your blessings, reflecting on what went right or what you’re grateful for. Sometimes it helps to pick a number, such as three to five things, that you will identify each week. As you write, be specific and think about the sensations you felt when something good happened to you.
People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude.
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.).
These are all habits that can make you realize that you have much to be grateful for and many people in your life who make you who you are and bring happiness, completeness, and fulfillment into your life. Just being a part of something bigger than yourself is a reason to be grateful.
I’m thankful every day for our team at Stevens-Koenig Reporting. Our office staff and our employee reporters make me proud and overwhelmingly grateful for their professionalism and their dedication to maintaining the record and, thereby, playing an integral role in the justice system. They tackle their assignments with determination and take very seriously their responsibility to follow a strict Professional Code of Ethics for always remaining impartial and unbiased. I’m grateful that they respect that Code as much as I do. It’s imperative for a complete and accurate record with the exact same services always being offered to both sides of a case.
I’m also thankful for the amazing clients we have and have had for so many years. Your loyalty is heartwarming and fills my soul with gratitude. When you comment on the quality of our staff and our reporters and thank me for the timeliness of our files and the professionalism of our team, I know we’re serving our community well and that our values and goals for this company have come full circle.
Happy Season of Thanksgiving to Everyone!