Gratitude in Community
Gratitude is something that crosses all and boundaries and countries, cultures, and ages. Gratitude is something we all can do and express and should. The impact gratitude has on a community, whether it is a community of two or two million, is amazing and vital to the growth and sustaining of the community.
National Gratitude Month is an annual designation observed in November. Gratitude is more than simply saying “thank you.” Gratitude’s amazing powers have the ability to shift us from focusing on the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives. Everything in our lives has the ability to improve when we are grateful. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress and drastically improve our overall level of health and wellbeing. On average, grateful people tend to have fewer stress-related illnesses and experience less depression and lowered blood pressure. They are more physically fit, they are happier, have a higher income, more satisfying personal and professional relationships and will be better liked. Grateful kids are even more likely to get A’s in school.
If everyone practiced daily gratitude, we could change ourselves and the planet for the better. Everyone would be much happier. Love would grow and hate would decrease. And the world would know true peace. People who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis have fewer physical symptoms, exercise more, are optimistic, and feel better about their lives as a whole. They offer emotional support to others and are considered helpful. Many studies have proven that daily discussions of gratitude results in higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and better sleep quality.
Grateful people tend to put less importance on material goods, are less likely to judge others based upon material possessions, and are more likely to share their possessions with others. Emerging research suggests that daily gratitude practices may have preventive benefits in warding off coronary artery disease. Increasing positive, grateful thoughts can increase a sense of well-being.
Entrepreneur Deborah Sweeney feels gratitude is a necessary component in any business model. “very morning when I wake up, I reflect on everything that I’m grateful for. I do this before I get out of bed. It only takes a couple of minutes, but this kind of inner reflection helps me set the tone for my day.
How you practice gratitude will differ for every entrepreneur, but the key to embracing an attitude of gratitude is making it a daily habit to be thankful. Where you are, how long you dwell on the thoughts, and what makes you thankful are details you can tweak to make your own. All that matters is making it a regular part of your day — and one that you genuinely enjoy taking a break to do. Don’t just think of the things that are so obvious. Instead, try to think of mundane things that you’re grateful for. For example, I’m thankful I live in a safe environment. It may not be as obvious as being thankful for my parents or children, but I don’t take any of it for granted.”
Sweeney continues: “As I mentioned before, gratitude differs for everyone but it’s important to consider the smaller details just as much as you would the bigger picture. Look beyond what’s obvious. Maybe you have a small Bonsai tree you keep in your office that makes you feel happy to look at or perhaps it’s a card you received in the mail from a friend you hadn’t heard from in a while. Take stock in the little things that happen throughout your day that makes you thankful. Who knows — your own actions might be part of someone else’s daily attitude of gratitude!”
This weekend we living in the USA are celebrating Thanksgiving. It really should be a daily habit for us all. The physical, mental, emotional health benefits are proven and being thankful serves to remind us we have a purpose, a reason to live, and a place in the universe.