Cultivating gratitude can be a boost for you and your business

Everyone I know is getting ready for Thanksgiving. Supermarkets are jammed with people shopping for all the essentials for a great feast. Many folks are looking forward to spending quality time with loved ones. At this time of the year, many people are reflecting on things for which they are grateful.

I recently saw a blog that said, “If gratitude is a state of being that is essential to a life well lived, why then in modern times do we not cultivate and express it on a daily basis?” President John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”

Gratitude is being mindful of and thankful for our blessings. Author M.J. Ryan, in her book, Attitudes of Gratitude, suggests that gratitude is a stance that one can adopt through difficult times as well as good times. “Gratitude helps us to return to our natural state of joyfulness where we notice what’s right instead of what’s wrong,” she writes. “It makes us feel complete, that we have everything we need, at least in this moment. People who practice gratitude on a daily basis are, by and large, happier, healthier, and more effective in the world.”

Giving thanks and being thankful are what this special day is all about. Besides all the feast preparations, it’s a time to find reasons to look at all the ways that people and acts of kindness have impacted us the way we have hoped. It’s a time to reflect upon things we are thankful for right now.

American author Melody Beattie said, “Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity … it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

Research suggests that being grateful means that we take better care of ourselves. Folks who keep a gratitude journal have fewer physical problems. Reflecting on and recognizing the precious opportunities we have helps us to be more kind, more forgiving, better able to deal with stress, and less prone to bitterness, envy, resentment, or greed. Practicing thankfulness can add years to one’s life.

A.A. Milne wrote, “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” And Willie Nelson said, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”

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