I love the connection of gratitude and the heart, and this old French proverb by Jean-Baptiste Massieu.
Central to our sense of connection, well-being, and happiness, but sometimes elusive to cultivate alongside busyness and anxiety, gratitude is something I find myself talking a lot about this time of the year. During the holiday season, but especially during tough times, noticing - and feeling -
our blessings can go a long way to rebalancing our outlook
, and mood
The science on gratitude is impressive. Not only can it boost happiness
and improve relationship satisfaction, it can also improve our health. Gratitude is understood to lower stress levels, heighten immunity, and is associated with better nutrition or regular exercise. Gratitude can even be an antidote to anger and frustration, broadening our experience and realigning the expectations so often driving conflict.
If you are feeling pressure coming into the holidays - be it from the weight of a loss, feelings of disappointment, or simply the stress of meeting extra holiday demands - a moment’s reflection on gratitude can help realign your perspective. Even thinking about the concept of gratitude can help engineer it.
“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” – Mary Davis
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus
“Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind.” – Lionel Hampton
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough.” ― Melody Beattie
“Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation. It is savoring; it is not taking things for granted; it is present-oriented.” – Sonja Lyubomirsky
“What separates privilege from entitlement is gratitude.” – Brene Brown
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder
Whether searching for more joy, mining for heart-felt memories, or cultivating a holiday season with more balance, tuning into the positives of life can help get you there. Gratitude can be as simple as noticing what is good, and allowing yourself to feel it. Even better, say it out loud to someone. Always at our fingertips, and always in our control.
As the holiday season kicks off in earnest, I’m wishing you many moments of thanksgiving, with blessings top of mind and full in heart,