An Attitude of Gratitude

According to the Oxford Dictionary, Gratitude is defined as the, “quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” With the holidays fast approaching, we will be spending time with our friends, family and loved ones. This tends to be a time when we are not only thankful for those in our lives, but we are also reminded of the memories we have shared with those who may have passed or who are no longer a part of our lives for whatever reason.

Over the years, I have read many “how to” books on becoming successful and being your “best self.” The one running theme that I hold dear is having a “practice” of gratitude. Taking time each and every day, not just around the holidays, to be grateful for the people in our lives and the opportunities given to us throughout the year is a wonderful practice to incorporate into the day. You can start by writing down 5 things you are grateful for each morning. The “things” could be as simple as a fresh hot cup of your favorite coffee or as humbling as the children you have been blessed to call your own. Either way write your items down. If you don’t have time to write your list on paper, then just do it in your head while you are in the shower or during your commute to work. The benefits of recognizing these “things” can be life changing.

I believe you cannot be grumpy while you are being grateful - it’s impossible! Trust me on this - you will automatically feel happier. When you are happy your self-esteem rises. You will begin to focus more on the positive than the negative and you will become more resilient to the challenges you face in your daily life. Who doesn’t want to be resilient? We all recognize that life can be challenging more often than not.

Ending your day with this same gratitude practice will help you sleep better. You can release all the things that annoyed you that day or the never-ending “to do” list you nagging at the back of your mind and restore yourself by getting good rest. We all know how important sleep is, especially in the hectic days of the holiday season. Focusing on all the wonderful in your life and getting a number of restful, nightly sleeps will benefit and improve your overall health.

Lastly, your relationships with others will improve. Whether you are an employer or an

employee showing gratitude for one another in the workplace not only boosts moral but

increases productivity...a winning combination. Telling your romantic-partner, spouse or friends how grateful you are to have them in your life is a wonderful practice that keeps those closest to you from ever feeling taken for granted. After all, these are the people you love the most! Tell them. If you aren’t a big, “I love you” kind of person, then send a card, write a note, or give a “big hug” for no apparent reason. The benefits of being grateful are endless! I challenge you to not only be grateful during the holiday season but to make it a daily practice. I promise you will not regret it.

Happy Thanksgiving. LXL is grateful for you each and every day!

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