The holiday season is upon us. Beginning with Thanksgiving, we’re entering the time of year when we’re encouraged to stop and consider all we have to be grateful for in our lives. And doing so is good for us. Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest, most powerful and accessible ways to live a more joyful fulfilling life, regardless of what is going on in your life or the world.
Research has demonstrated that feelings of gratitude are associated with better health, sounder sleep, greater happiness and kinder actions toward others. Holiday gatherings provide useful opportunities to cultivate feelings of gratitude. We often come together with family and friends, many of whom have been important influences in our life. Take a moment to acknowledge and give thanks for each of them. Let them know how they’ve guided, inspired or supported you and how much they mean to you.
Remembering to be grateful at other times is also a valuable practice. Taking time each day to identify a few things you feel grateful for has been proven to improve mood and feelings of well-being. Performing simple acts of gratitude in our daily lives such as showing appreciation and returning kindness can help elevate energy levels, optimism, and productivity and has long-term mental health/emotional benefits.
Here are some inspirational reads on the theme of gratitude that are available to borrow with your Livingston Library card.
Grateful : The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass
We know that gratitude is good, but many of us find it hard to sustain a meaningful life of gratefulness. Using her trademark blend of historical research, spiritual insights, and timely cultural observation, Bass shows how we can overcome this gap and offers up surprising, relevant, and powerful insights to practice gratitude.
Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
During the last few months of his life, Sacks wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death. Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life.
Gratitude Daily: 21 Days to More Joy and Less Stress by Nataly Kogan
21 short, fun lessons that you can do anytime and anywhere, featuring practices such as “Gratitude Zoom,” “Tiny Miracles,” and “Gratitude for Imperfection.” In each 10-15 minute lesson, you’ll not only learn how to do each practice, but why, as Nataly shares fascinating tidbits from psychology, neuroscience, and her own successes.
Getting advice at every turn from psychologists, academics, doctors, and philosophers, Kaplan brings readers on a smart and witty journey to discover the value of appreciating what you have. Relying on both amusing personal experiences and extensive research, Kaplan explores how gratitude can transform every aspect of life, including marriage and friendship, money and ambition, and health and fitness.
Hamadey chronicles how twelve months spent writing 365 thank you notes to strangers, neighbors, family, and friends shifted her perspective – and why developing a lasting active gratitude practice can make you a happier person, heal complicated relationships, and reconnect you with the people you love — all with just a little bit of bravery at the mailbox.
Leading with Gratitude : Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton
Showing gratitude to employees is the easiest, fastest, most inexpensive way to boost performance. Gostick and Elton introduce eight simple ways managers can show employees they are valued. They supplement their insights and advice with stories of how many of today’s most successful leaders–such as Alan Mulally of Ford and Hubert Joly of Best Buy–successfully incorporated gratitude into their leadership styles.
Authors Kate Bowler and Jessica Richie reveal how every day is worth blessing–even Tuesdays. In a world that demands relentless perfection, they offer creative, faith-based blessings that center gratitude and hope without making light of our real, messy lives.
Please, Sorry, Thanks : The Three Words That Change Everything by Mark Batterson
The best predictor of success in life, in love, and in leadership is your proficiency at please, sorry, and thanks. Those three words are the foundation of all healthy relationships and successful careers. Those three words are the only ceiling on achieving your dreams. Those three words will determine how happy you are.
The Power of Thank You : Discover the Joy of Gratitude by Joyce Meyer
Bible teacher Meyer encourages you to have a gracious heart that guides your daily actions and reactions. Living with an attitude of gratitude along with regularly expressing your thanks not only helps you fully realize how God is working in your life, it lifts your burdens and gives you a new perspective. Actively practicing thanksgiving is the key to finding freedom from bitterness and failure, which leads to embracing the best that God has for you.
Here you will find practical and conscious ways to embrace gratitude that offer lasting meaning, from creative ways to turn a simple thank you into a heartfelt gift to strategies to help us to see life with brighter eyes. Try keeping a gratitude journal, whether on paper or using an app, or making a gratitude altar. Discover meditations to end your day on a grateful note and to help you find your way back to thankfulness when times are hard. You will soon find that gratitude becomes a way of life and will reap the benefits, both emotional and physical.
With questions for reflection, daily exercises, and perspective prompts, this book promises profound personal change through the practice of taking nothing for granted.
The Way of Gratitude : A New Spirituality For Today by Galen Guengerich
Through his personal story, poems that resonate with his spiritual message, and guided spiritual practices, including “gratitude goals,” Guengerich helps readers discover how the way of gratitude can make them happier and healthier, and provide a new sense of belonging not only to the universe as a whole but also to themselves.
—Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian