— Helen Keller: author, activist and lecturer
November encourages us to give thanks, but there are many reasons to give and be thankful year round. According to a Harvard Health article “giving thanks can make you happier”. Expressing gratitude consistently in your life increases your positive emotions and has effects on your overall health and relationships. An article from Berkeley refers to gratitude as social emotion, used to connect with those around us. As a “relationship-strengthing emotion” it can allow us to see how we fit into social constructs, how others have helped us and how we may be able to support, encourage, and help others.
It may be easier to notice how focusing on the positive in our lives creates better mental health, but it is also important for our physical health. A Psychology Today article said grateful people “exercise more often and are more likely to attend regular check-ups, which is likely to contribute to further longevity.” Be sure to check out the article for more ways practicing gratitude can change your life.
How to implement intentional gratitude into your routine:
Ways to give more to your community and those around you:
Don’t want to do it alone?
Find events and gatherings in your community or start your own. It doesn’t have to be a holiday to gather friends and family together and show appreciation.
There are many great events around the world focused on giving and showing gratitude. If you are a traveler, be sure to add these to your list!
Here are a few of my favorites:
Tet Trung Thu is a fall festival in Vietnam also known as the children’s festival. The Vietnamese believe children represent innocence and purity and represent our closest connections to the natural world. They celebrate by having children light lanterns, gathering with family and dancing.
Her Justice is a non-profit in New York City, NY serving women living in poverty with high-stakes legal needs. They serve the 5 major boroughs and provide counseling, court representation and more, on cases involved with family, marriage and immigration. Legal services can be critical, “without a lawyer, only 13% of people defend themselves successfully”. You can check out more statistics that drive their impact on their website here. The volunteers, staff, and community that support Her Justice are truly making a difference for the women and families in their community.
We recently had an event in New York City and would love to return to speak with more amazing women and showcase community efforts that support women, children, and diversity. Be sure to check out our events calendar periodically so you don’t miss us when we come to your town!
Her Story of Success would love to hear about your family, local, and cultural traditions of giving thanks and showing gratitude. Post in the comments to share photos and details with the community!