November is officially National Gratitude Month!
We all live such busy lives that oftentimes, we forget to take a moment out to give thanks in good but also in bad times. Even in times of trouble, there are still blessings to count and lessons to learn. Becoming a truly grateful person can be the healthiest change you make in your life.
According to researchers, gratitude can make people happier, improve their relationships, and potentially even counteract depression and suicidal thoughts. Some studies have even associated gratitude with a whole heap of physical benefits—from fewer aches and pains to improved sleep to better cardiovascular health.
The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. In some ways, gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is being thankful for what you are given, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the good stuff in their lives and are better able to connect with other folks, nature and a higher power.
Spirituality continues to be a strong influence and major cornerstone among African Americans. Gratitude is considered the gateway of spiritual discipline. The continued recognition and expression of gratitude is an acknowledgement of divine grace and the unconditional love of us by the Supreme.
Gratitude fuels our spiritual growth.
Being grateful just makes you feel good all over from head to toe; it is an incredibly powerful and invigorating experience. If you want to introduce more gratitude in your life, here are some ways in which to do so:
- Tell the folks in your life that you love them
- Nurture your friendships
- Read inspiring and motivating books
- Perform a daily random act of kindness
- Check-in with beloved family members
- Step away from gossip
- Spend quality time with your partner and kids
- Don’t be chintzy with the compliments, spread them around
- Reward an effort whether in your personal life or at work
- Thank those folks who rarely get “thank you’s” like bus drivers, mail carriers, custodians
- Send love to those you dislike
- Surround yourself with images or inspirational quotes that remind you to be thankful
- Share the benefits of your gratitude with those around you
- Be thankful for the life lessons learned from mistakes and challenges
- Visit an older adult and thank them for their presence in your life
- Take a moment to really notice and appreciate all that God has created in nature
- Try smiling more than frowning
- Avoid watching TV shows or films that promote negativity
- Keep a gratitude journal to see how practicing gratitude can really change your life for the better.