Time for Gratitude / by Brittney Hogan

By Genie Davis

There are many ways to enrich your life. Friends, family, exercise, travel - and all of these and many more are aspects of life that inspire gratitude. And gratitude itself is a very enriching experience.

    Studies have shown that people are actually happier if they express gratitude for the things that are positive in their lives. Rather than spending my days worrying about what is absent from my life, what I could’ve done better, or what I don’t have, I can make a conscious decision to appreciate what I do have, be thankful for it, and in giving thanks, put more gratitude in my life.

    First step - exactly how do I express my gratitude? Many people keep a gratitude journal, in which they record, daily, the things they are grateful for. Others remember the great moments of each week, month or year and record them on a slip of paper, place them in a jar, and after a set period of time, a month or a year, open that jar and remember the things that made them feel grateful or happy.  Some people simply learn how to say thank you - whether privately, through such a journal, or as a passing thought, or by going that small but meaningful extra step of thanking someone who gave you the gratitude gift.

    I realized that anything I am grateful for receiving - a person’s smile, hug, helping hand, or positive comment; an opportunity for creativity, prosperity, or spiritual serenity; a situation that allows me to achieve a goal, see something beautiful, take a peaceful moment, learn something new  - all these things that merit my gratitude are presents. Beautiful, special gifts that should be savored and appreciated.

    Appreciating others is infinitely more powerful than appreciating objects, or even the beauty of nature. A close relationship with friends, family, or a significant other is truly one of the most vital things to invest time, energy, and gratitude in. When you appreciate another person, an act, or words that person has shared, you expand your own gratitude. Your respect, thanks, and acceptance will in turn make that person grateful. And happier. They’ll thrive and so will you.

    So: let’s fill 2015 with a sense of thankfulness, eagerness, and harmony.  Let’s try to counter whatever challenges await us with grace, and really try to create a more meaningful connection with other people, lower our defenses, and be real

    I realized that anything I am grateful for receiving - a person’s smile, hug, helping hand, or positive comment; an opportunity for creativity, prosperity, or spiritual serenity; a situation that allows me to achieve a goal, see something beautiful, take a peaceful moment, learn something new  - all these things that merit my gratitude are presents. Beautiful, special gifts that should be savored and appreciated.

    Appreciating others is infinitely more powerful than appreciating objects, or even the beauty of nature. A close relationship with friends, family, or a significant other is truly one of the most vital things to invest time, energy, and gratitude in. When you appreciate another person, an act, or words that person has shared, you expand your own gratitude. Your respect, thanks, and acceptance will in turn make that person grateful. And happier. They’ll thrive and so will you.

    So: let’s fill 2015 with a sense of thankfulness, eagerness, and harmony.  Let’s try to counter whatever challenges await us with grace, and really try to create a more meaningful connection with other people, lower our defenses, and be real