Wrapping a Present and Not Giving It

At Thanksgiving dinner, we take turns around the table sharing highlights of the year and expressing our thanks. It is such an uplifting conversation and we were able to do it again this year, socially distanced and outside! I am grateful for that!  

Our nuclear family has taken this practice further and we now spend most meals when we are together saying what we are thankful for. Gratitude shouldn’t be designated to one day. Have you considered giving thanks at every gathering? Why not start every meal with each person taking a minute or two to express appreciation for something good that happened that day?

Not only would a greater focus on gratitude be welcome in our personal lives, but studies on gratitude at work link it to more positive emotions, less stress, fewer health complaints, a greater sense that we can achieve our goals, fewer sick days, and higher satisfaction with our jobs and our coworkers.

While expressing thanks to colleagues might feel awkward or even at odds with some workplace environments, many organizations are developing innovative ways to build a culture of gratitude and appreciation in order to transform work lives, leading to deeper connections to each other and to the work we’re doing.

This coming year, I plan to share a series of blogs on the importance of gratitude in our personal and professional lives and on the benefits of routinely recognizing the good things in our lives and saying thank you.

As William Arthur Ward said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

Many people have an annual tradition of unwrapping presents that have been placed under a Christmas tree, but your real gifts won’t be found under a tree. The real presents are the moments we take to express our appreciation. What are you thankful for? Here are some ideas to get you started: family, friends, pets, health, home, opportunities, freedoms, security, kindness, wisdom, laughter, sunshine, sunsets, art, music, the internet.

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May 26, 2021

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