“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” – Cicero
Gratitude is a state of being in which we appreciate the harmony in our world. It is an emotion that provides a genuine sense of thankfulness and appreciation. When we try to find the good in others as well as in situations, this becomes a state of mind and an attitude about life. According to Rollin McCraty of the HeartMath Research Center, cultivating positive emotions, such as appreciate and gratitude, can improve the heart’s rhythmic function. A well-functioning heart in turn sends signals to the cognitive and emotional centers in the brain.
Being grateful can have a tremendous impact on our lives. It’s almost impossible to feel grateful and victimized at the same time. This emotion often overshadows all others we may feel. However, we choose to feel this way. So let’s focus our hearts and mind so we can reap all the benefits! According to Focus on the Good Stuff by Mike Robbins, we can make gratitude lists.
Inventory all that you are grateful for right now; all that you can think of. Make a list of those in your life and why you are grateful for them. And share with them! Make a list of what you appreciate and are grateful for about yourself. Appreciation of ourselves can be difficult so be kind and gentle. Share your gratitude. Always say Thank You and mean it!
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer
We have much to be grateful for this 4th of July! Let’s celebrate.
CC DeGraff, Executive Director