Be Grateful to Be Joyful

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone!  For those fellow Canadians that celebrate, I hope you are enjoying this time with friends, family and nature. For many of us, Thanksgiving and other holidays can be a time to reflect and be grateful for the abundance we have in our lives.

In fact, current research suggests that those that practice it daily actually experience lower stress levels and more joy and happiness. When we focus on what we do have and appreciate it, we move towards contentment rather than dwelling in feelings of wanting and dissatisfaction.

I first stumbled upon Brene Brown’s research in a TED talk on vulnerability, and have been a fan of her work ever since. Here she shares the connection between joy and gratitude from Benedictine Brother David Steindl-Rast: It’s not joy that makes us grateful, it’s gratefulness that makes us joyful.

It’s so easy to lose focus on the things we should be grateful for when many of our day-to-day activities require our minds to be conditioned to look for and solve problems in our work and personal lives. This is why it is important to set a time for this intentional practice everyday. Tomorrow, I will share with you three things I am grateful for this Thanksgiving and some tips to help you maintain a practice of gratitude in your life should you be inspired to start. 🙂

And in case you need a dose today, the simple but profound message in this TED talk below by cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg reminds us of what we can all be grateful for:

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