Gratitude: The State of Being Grateful

With all of the exciting changes Splashlight has had this year it feels as if we’ve blinked and the new year is right around the corner. While most say change is inevitable, we here at Splashlight know that great things can come with change. New relationships, opportunities, chances, and most of all more to be grateful for. With the holiday’s right around the corner, for some of us, this marks the season of thankfulness.

Hopefully, for each of you, the holidays are a time to slow down and enjoy precious time with family and friends. While this is ideal, we all know that it is not always the case…. we stress to rush to prepare dinners, run between holiday gatherings and events, and attempt to keep those around us satisfied with our pleasant demeanor. Even with all of the stress, the holiday season statistically is the one time of year people tend to be the most grateful. But, what if gratitude could have a positive impact on your health? Would this make you reconsider extending this short season of gratefulness year round?

Gratitude + Health
Gratitude has historically, and in recent positive psychology studies, been associated with greater happiness. Overall gratefulness has been shown to help people reduce stress, create optimism, deal with adversity, and even improve how people take care of themselves. Based on studies by University of California Davis psychology professor and researcher Robert Emmons, PhD, people that distinguish gratitude as a yearlong trait tend to be more likely to partake in healthy eating, regular exercise, and visits to their annual exams. In addition, recent research has begun to suggest that the feeling of gratitude has a positive impact on how we cope with daily problems, and therefore allows us to better manage stress (which contributes to a number of illnesses and a high percentage of doctor visits each year). So, how do we shift our mindset to emphasize gratitude all year long?

Share Gratitude
John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” Partaking in a random act of kindness is something that can be done all year long, and can come in many shapes and sizes. A random act of kindness is a two way street when it comes to gratitude. It’s a great way to make yourself and someone else feel good, which is hopefully a feeling they choose to pass along to others. Random acts of kindness can be small things like holding a door for someone and smiling, shoveling someone’s driveway when the dreaded snow hits, or even finding opportunities to compliment a stranger. Other random acts of kindness could be leaving money on a vending machine for the next person, paying for someone’s groceries at the store, or picking up someone else’s tab at the coffee shop. There are SO MANY ways to share gratitude with others in the form of a random act of kindness, and the more we take the time to consistently do it, the more likely it is to become a habit!

Here are some other ways to promote gratitude throughout the year:

  • We all know this can be a tough one, but try to focus on the positives of a negative situation
  • Take some time each week to reflect, and write down a few things that you are grateful for
  • Get involved with a cause that is important to you – volunteer or donate
  • Slow down and make time to pray or meditate (focus on what you’re grateful for)
  • Frequently thank a veteran or service member, and their families, for their service to our country

I think now is the time we say, go forth and spread gratitude. “Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity … it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie


Our Splashlight Team would like to wish you all and your families a very peaceful, relaxing, and safe Thanksgiving holiday this week! We are so grateful to have you as a client, a supporter, a friend…. or for some of you, all three! Thank you for being a part of our Splashlight family.

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