November Theme: The Surprising Thing About Gratitude

Lifestyle

In this season of thanks, it becomes easy to default to autopilot. We thank our friends and family for dealing with our host of antics, whether we’re a workaholic or going through that “hot mess” stage where we’re calling in more favors than we’re able to dish out. We express gratitude for the things we often take for granted—the roof over our heads, the meal on our plates. We share thanks for the sleep we got last night, the moments of quiet and solitude we sometimes have to ourselves in the early morning hours.

No matter what way you bring gratitude into your daily life, the practice is often dismissed as being overly simplistic and just something we do to show grace and appreciation for our blessings.

This month, I invite you to reconsider what the art of giving thanks can do for your day-to-day life. 

There is hard science to show that the impact of gratitude goes beyond counting your blessings. In positive psychology research, gratitude is consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, fully enjoy good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.

In short, giving thanks makes life easier and more enjoyable. 

We can express this sense of appreciation in a couple of different ways. We can apply it to:

  • the past (positive memories of childhood or past blessings)
  • the present (not taking what we have for granted)
  • the future (finding hope for what is to come)

What I’ve found so powerful about the practice of building gratitude into my life is that it helps me appreciate what I have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will bring some kind of transformation—like the false idea that you need physical and material needs met before you can find happiness. 

What I’ve found so powerful about the practice of building gratitude into my life is that it helps me appreciate what I have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will bring some kind of transformation.

In November, I’ll be writing about the secret to making peace with your past. Our contributors will be sharing pieces about gratitude in its many manifestations—the moments with loved ones they’re most grateful for, simple ways we can practice gratitude in our daily lives, and an experiment with 30 days of gratitude journaling. They’ll be writing about learning to reframe their approach to adversity and mental illness, and about sending thank you notes to people who inspire them, even those they’ve never met. It’s going to be a good month of words, folks, and we can’t wait to share what Wit & Delight’s team of writers have in store.

This month, let’s think about the season of thanks as an opportunity to thank ourselves first, and to focus on what we have instead of what we lack. Yes, it might feel corny, contrived, and a bit simplistic at first, but a growing sense of contentment with your life begins to become ever-present with use and practice. And that’s a reason to think twice before you discount the importance of gratitude.


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BY Kate Arends - November 1, 2019

2 Comments  +

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  1. Bradford says:

    What a lovely post and a refreshed and renewed perspective as we move toward Thanksgiving and all the obligatory things we’re “thankful” for. I will definitely be looking forward to the forthcoming posts and be sure to stop and truly consider all that I have to be grateful for.

    p.s. – As a side note, Kate, what you have evolved and expanded Wit&Delight into is really wonderful. It’s an outstanding contribution in all of the internet noise. Thanks so much to you and your contributors. I am grateful for all you do.

  2. Gratitude is precious and in every person there must be gratitude.

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