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What Gratitude Can Do for YOU

November 24, 2010

Gratitude: It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

In case you were wondering what’s in it for you when it comes to giving thanks, in a column in the Wall Street Journal this week, Melinda Beck points to the wonders that gratitude can do for your “psychological, emotional and physical well-being.”

I’ve definitely experienced this lift during this month of focusing on gratitude here in this space. For each of my expressions of gratitude on this blog, there are many, many more that have yet to be written. This Thank You Note project will continue long past Thanksgiving.

The WSJ article has some wonderful, practical tips for keeping your attitude of gratitude fresh, especially by being specific with your thanks. For example, instead of being generically grateful for “my friends,” you can express gratitude that, “Today, my friend Sue called me to see if I was feeling better,” or, “My neighbor Ellen was so kind to stay with my sleeping child for a few minutes while I went to pick up my other child at school.”

I could point out all the other great stuff in this article, but why rehash when you can go read it yourself here? Enjoy!

But WAIT! Before you go, I want to let you know that today, on this day before Thanksgiving, I am grateful that we will be surrounded by our closest family tomorrow. My parents, my husband’s parents and his 90-something grandmother. (Our only missing link is my husband’s sister and her husband.)

They’re all incredibly giving people who have made our lives richer and easier with generous gifts of all kinds: time, knowledge, emotional support, college funds and so much more. And the most precious gift of all, of course … their love. Saying thank you to them feels inadequate for all we have received, but, since I know they’re reading this, it’s a start.

With all my heart … Thank You.

I can’t wait until tomorrow, when I can add to this simple expression with a warm home filled with laughter, hugs and (I hope) yummy food.

Yep, it true what that article says. Be grateful feels sooooo good.

Wishing all of you a warm, wonderful and meaningful Thanksgiving.

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18 Comments
  1. Susan permalink

    your blogs about thankfulness are inspiring. We too have so very much to be thankful for; wonderful children and their spouses; the love over the years of giving parents and grandparents who set a strong example for us; two smart, funny, caring grandsons; sharing and responsible siblings and extended family; and a pile of fabulous friends. We are also lucky enough to have good health and sufficient wealth. The good food and good companionship tomorrow are bonuses. I am sure there is more we could do to share our good luck, but for tomorrow, we will just enjoy it.

    • Michelle Buzgon permalink

      That’s reeeeally beautiful, Susan. I especially love your last two lines. ~Michelle

  2. Oh, I love this Michelle and Happy Thanksgiving to you! As I live in Australia we do not celebrate Thanksgiving but I think perhaps we need something similar!! It is a lovely tradition.

    You’re right, we all do have so much to be thankful for and should take time to acknowledge and reflect on that. It’s good for us!

    Thank you to you for your comment on my blog, too!

    Have a great day. 🙂

    • Michelle Buzgon permalink

      Maybe we could start an International Day of Gratitude! Or maybe someone already did and we could hook into it. Time to go do some research … ~M

  3. Here from ICLW 🙂 I think gratitude is so important for my emotional wellbeing. It took me a long time before I could genuinely feel grateful, but the more I practice, the more naturally is comes. Beautiful posts. Sending prayers and best wishes your way.

    • Michelle Buzgon permalink

      Thank you, Randi, for being a testament to how it works. I think it helps to call it a “practice.” Then you realize it’s OK if it takes repeated efforts to feel comfortable.

      Or, another way to frame it — fake it till you make it 😉
      ~M

  4. So true! I’m amazed at how I can change my mood just by thinking about what makes me happy. It’s so easy to focus on the negative, but when you make yourself stop and think, there are so many things to be thankful for.

    ICLW

    • Michelle Buzgon permalink

      It really does lift the spirit! Thank you, Deborah. ~M

  5. What a great month to focus on gratitude, and I like the suggestion to focus on specific things you are grateful for. Enjoy the rest of your project, and thank you for stopping by my blog. Happy ICLW!

    • Michelle Buzgon permalink

      I really liked that suggestion, too. Thanks for coming by. ~M

  6. Happy icwl. I like the points you make in being specific about what we are grateful for instead of general. It is truly a reminder of how lucky we are.

    • Michelle Buzgon permalink

      Yes, it makes us realize how much good we have in our lives. Every day. Thank you for dropping by. ~M

  7. Happy ICLW. Thank you for stopping by my blog and thanks for your kind words. I work on gratitude for my losses. For the strength that I have gained but it is so hard some days. ❤

    • Michelle Buzgon permalink

      Yes, of course, it’s hard some days. On those days, just try to be kind to yourself. ~M

  8. I am so glad that you stopped by my blog because it led me to yours. I lost my daughter 3 years ago and my struggle with grief and gratitude is a work in progress. Looking forward to coming by your blog more often, I can always use some help in the grief department.

    • Michelle Buzgon permalink

      I’m honored to have you here. Anytime. ~M

  9. I often think back to when I was young and naive–with little in the grief and loss category. With life comes loss of innocence, lots of grief, and unfortunately suffering. Although i had so much to be grateful for as a child, it is only now that I feel the gratitude from within.

    Thanks for an opportunity to release all my gratitude out into cyberspace. So–thank you for life, love, laughter, family, friendship, forgiveness, flowers, seltzer, silliness, hot sauce, and music. At least, that’s the list for today.

    • Michelle Buzgon permalink

      I love this list! Thanks, G, for releasing your gratitude here. I’m grateful for everything on your list, too. Well, except the hot sauce. ~M

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