Greener On Our Side

Make Giving Thanks a Tradition Each Day of the Year
Thankfulness Has a Real Purpose

Thanksgiving is all about heartwarming gatherings and counting one’s blessings while enjoying a delicious family meal. It’s a holiday that’s filled with warmth and gratitude and an essential tradition for many Americans. 

It turns out that all of that thankfulness and appreciation shared on Thanksgiving has a real purpose. Harvard Health Publishing recently cited research that shows that gratitude is strong correlated with happiness. Psychologists have conducted experiments that show that people who regularly expressed gratitude over a 10-week period came away more optimistic and felt more positively about their lives. They also exercised more frequently and had fewer visits to physicians. 

The Harvard article goes on to offer several tips for making gratitude a regular habit. The act of writing can foster appreciation through thank-you notes and a gratitude journal. Meditation and prayer can be opportunities to cultivate gratitude while focusing on a serene moment of the day. 

There are formal means to express gratitude as well. Almost every day of the year offers an occasion to be thankful for someone—or something—in your life. Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day are two of the most well-known dates. There are also National Nurses Day in May, Thank a Policeman Day each September, Veterans Day in November, and many more.

Volunteering is a wonderful way to show thanks, including with organizations like Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, which seeks help with food sorting and packing as well as office work. Habitat for Humanity of the Northern Fox Valley seeks volunteers for home construction and in its resale store.

GreenFields residents have so much for which to be grateful. They are on the receiving end of generosity and friendship from neighbors including volunteers helping with technology, pen pals from the neighborhood connecting with residents during the pandemic, and grandchildren of a resident who provide themed treats every month.

There are numerous ways to unlock the power of gratitude in daily life. Giving thanks does not only have to take place on Thanksgiving. It can happen year-round. 

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