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Practicing Gratitude

How do you define gratitude? If you google the word “gratitude,” you’ll find several definitions and you’ll discover that it is much more than a feeling. Yes, gratitude is being thankful and it is a positive emotion, but it is so much more. Harvard Medical School describes it this way:

“A thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals–whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.”

More than a Feeling

Gratitude is more than just “feeling” thankful. It’s an acknowledgment and an expression of thankfulness. When you express your appreciation, you actually experience a stronger sense of well-being. And, don’t we all need to feel a strong sense of well-being these days? Let’s face it, the last year and a half has been hard. Challenging. We are all more than a little weary.

Pay it Forward

But, perhaps that very weariness is more the reason for us to be proactive when it comes to expressing thanks. After all, if gratitude causes us to have a stronger sense of well-being, it’s likely that when we express our thanks to others, they will in turn feel better, too. So, let’s pay it forward.

More than ever, we need to summon up an attitude of gratitude, and then we need to express that gratitude. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Take some time to think about the people in your life that you are thankful for and then tell them. Send them a note, pick up the phone, or simply text them. Just let them know how much you appreciate them.
  2. Do something special for someone you appreciate. Take them a meal. Send flowers. Invite them to lunch.
    Plan a coffee date. Just do something that expresses your appreciation.
  3. Start a gratitude journal. Paying attention to the big and small things in your life that bring you joy, peace, and thankfulness will do two things. One, it will increase your own sense of gratitude and it will also serve as a reminder to express your gratitude.

There are many ways we can practice gratitude and certainly expressing thanks should be a daily practice. But, this month is an especially appropriate month to show our gratitude and to say, “Thank you.” So, thank you. Thank you for your friendship, your patronage, your loyalty, and your contribution to our lives and our business. We are grateful. Very grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving from our Hawaii Life ohana to yours.  May your lives be filled with an abundance of joy, goodness, and gratitude.”

“Being joyful isn’t what makes you grateful. Being grateful is what makes you joyful.” – Ann Voskamp

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