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November 16th, 2017

Habitually Grateful

by Guest Blogger

This weeks blog comes to us from guest contributor, Jan Leasure.  Currently Jan is a Senior Loan Officer in Libertyville, but previously was a teacher and nationally syndicated columnist for over 20 years.

Why was November chosen as “National Gratitude Month”? The obvious reason is because Thanksgiving happens in November and that gives everyone a reason to stop for a moment and visualize the things for which they are grateful.

When I was an English teacher, one of the things that I had my students do was keep a Gratitude Journal. Many students had a lot of ups and downs in their lives so sometimes writing down one thing was a struggle.  What we all learned from this exercise is that there were a lot of intangible things to be grateful for; love, friendship, a sunny day, trading lunches with your bestie, or the fact that Mrs. Leasure did not read your love note over the intercom!  What was the purpose of this exercise? We learned that although there was a lot to complain about in EVERYONE’S life, if we started off our day or class with just one thing for which we were grateful our entire day was more positive and it put things in perspective.

Now as I look back over my life with more perspective, I find that it is more important than ever to find gratitude in my life every day and in every way.

Ways that Gratitude can Help Us

  • Gratitude makes us healthier by making us feel more positive and fighting depression.
  • Gratitude can help your career. A positive employee makes for a more friendly workplace.
  • Gratitude helps us bounce back from stress and can physically lower blood pressure.
  • Gratitude leads to optimism which believe it or not can increase your life span.
  • Gratitude increases your energy levels. (Negativity sucks your energy).
  • Gratitude can help you look better (How many products are sold by crabby models?) If gratitude would make you look ten years younger, that’s like a free mental facelift! I’m in!
  • Gratitude can make you a better friend. I am deeply grateful for my friends and love them even more when they are grateful for me.
  • Gratitude can make you a better parent. Think about the difference between gratitude and criticism. Showering a child with gratitude has deep long lasting effects.
  • Gratitude has been proven to help the quality of your sleep. Count your blessings to stop counting sheep!
  • Gratitude increases your productivity – both in your personal life and in your work. Does that mean that gratitude is a money maker? Well maybe.

We all have a lot to be grateful for, not just at Thanksgiving, but every day that we open our eyes. I am taking this opportunity to write down one thing that I am grateful for every day on my calendar. My goal is to pay that gratitude forward. Try it, you’ll like it!

 

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