It’s the time of year when our hearts and homes are often fullest. As you move throughout the season, you probably ask yourself, What am I most grateful for?
We asked several of our residents the same question. Get inspired by their answers and consider what you’re most thankful for this season.
What Are You Most Grateful For?
Nancy G.: My grandchildren, children, faith, and husband.
Shirley S.: For just being here and my friends! This is important to me because of all the wonderful friends I’ve met!
Dorothy F.: Mass every day! This is important to me because we live in a time that needs prayer; I’m also thankful for family and friends!
Ann S.: New friends, my family, and Esquiline’s beautiful trees. It’s a good life.
Bernice E. My family, friends, and the Esquiline staff.
Marian G.: Eyesight, hearing, my health, family, friends, faith, neighbors, and the Esquiline staff.
Benefits of Gratitude
You’re not just imagining it - taking a moment to reflect on what you’re thankful for does make you feel better, both mentally and physically.
According to Harvard Health, gratitude is associated with being happier: “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
In fact, one study of 411 people found that when the participants wrote a letter to people they appreciated from their childhoods, their happiness greatly increased - more than it would have from any other activity.
Another study from 2012 found that people who were grateful reported fewer physical ailments and were also more likely to take care of themselves physically.
5 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude
While showing gratitude can be as simple as saying “thank you” to someone else, there are many ways to grow your spirit of thankfulness. Try a few of the activities below, both now and all year long.
- Keep a gratitude journal. This can be as simple or complex as you like. Write down the things you’re grateful for that naturally bubble to the top of your mind. You can elaborate on one specific person or thing, or create a list of little things each day for which you’re grateful.
- Pray thankfully. As you pray, say “thank you” for something or someone, and perhaps pray for that person’s intentions too.
- Pay attention. Take a few moments to reflect and think about all that you have - big or small. Perhaps a loved one cleaned the snow off your car for you, or you enjoyed the feeling of sunshine on your face today. You’ll feel better once you start to notice the blessings that make your life richer.
- Express your thoughts. Don’t be afraid to tell people what they mean to you. Some people think - or respond - better to gratitude in different ways. So besides spoken words, you could also try a thoughtful letter, card, gift, or act of service to let someone know they’re appreciated.
- Give back. Oftentimes, giving in service to others helps you reflect on what you’re most thankful for in your own life. Especially during this season, sharing with others can be a deeply fulfilling experience.
More Ways to Enhance Your Spirituality
Gratitude is one important benefit of a healthy spiritual life. In our spiritual wellness guide, “Nurture Your Soul,” you’ll learn about four other aspects that include:
- Life prosperity
Download a copy of the free guide today and get started on a path to a more satisfying spiritual life.