Since Thanksgiving happens in November, many people use the month to pay extra attention to gratitude. Many of my friends on Facebook will post a different gratitude message each day of the month.
I love this, because even though gratitude is Generosity Habit #5, it’s first in my heart. I LOVE the gratitude habit. Gratitude has an almost magical ability to cascade through your life improving nearly every area: physical, emotional, spiritual, work, and personal relationships. You name it, gratitude helps.
University of California, Berkley, has documented and measured the impact of gratitude on people’s lives in hundreds of studies. They conclude that gratitude is one of the most reliable methods for increasing happiness and life satisfaction; it boosts feelings of optimism, joy, pleasure, enthusiasm. It reduces anxiety and depression, strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, reduces symptoms of illness, and makes us less bothered by aches and pains. It encourages us to exercise more and take better care of our health. Grateful people get more hours of sleep each night, spend less time awake before falling asleep, and feel more refreshed upon awakening. Gratitude makes people more resilient and helps people recover from traumatic events.
I love gratitude, and I love the way it makes me feel, so I, too, will be focusing on gratitude this month. In my book, 365 Way to Live Generously, there are 52 entries on gratitude, and through out the month, I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorites.
There are countless things to be grateful for and dozens of ways to feel and express that gratitude, and I’m looking forward to sharing with you a few of those ways.
Let’s start with a simple one, and just list 5 people, places, or things you’re grateful for.
- I’m grateful that I will spend Thanksgiving with family.
- I’m grateful for Colorado sunshine. Few things give me more pleasure than closing my eyes and basking in its warm rays.
- I’m grateful for honey in my tea that has been helping my throat cope with this cold I can’t seem to kick.
- I’m grateful for funny people. There’s nothing like humor to put things back in perspective.
- I’m grateful that I’ve now helped donate more than $60,000 to great charities. I love my giving circles, and I love the people who have teamed up with me to make it possible. There are a lot of good people doing a lot of good things, and I’m glad I know a few of them.
What are you grateful for?