–by Ruth G.gratitude-joy

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” — Maya Angelou

Starbucks has their holiday cups out, and the star is up at Macy’s, but I’d like to put in a good word for a holiday that we seem to have skipped over.

Did you know that Giving Thanks is good for you?

Many articles tout the transformative power of gratitude: 

  • Improved physical, emotional, and social well-being
  • Greater optimism and happiness,
  • Improved feelings of connection in times of loss or crises
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Heightened energy levels
  • Strengthened heart, immune system, and decreased blood pressure
  • Improved emotional and academic intelligence
  • Expanded capacity for forgiveness
  • Decreased stress, anxiety, depression, and headaches
  • Improved self-care and greater likelihood to exercise
  • Heightened spirituality — ability to see something bigger than ourselves

Lots of websites have ideas for cultivating an attitude of gratitude. Here are a selection of books that focus on gratitude:

This year I hope to make gratitude a bigger part of winter holidays instead of the old cycle of consume too much, then ruminate on what personal failings I need to fix (since New Years Resolutions apparently have a 92% failure rate, and can lead to depression!) As author Tracy Sealinger suggests, “If materialism is obsessing about what we don’t have, gratitude is the opposite: concentrating on what we do have.

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

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2 responses to “Gratitude”

  1. Stacey McKinley says:

    I am thankful for all the book suggestions and article links to help me explore gratitude.

  2. Ruth G. says:

    Thank you, Stacey! I’m thankful that my mother made me keep going to piano lessons even when I begged and pleaded with her to let me stop. I really love being able to play the piano now– it’s a great stress reliever!

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