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  • Writer's pictureBill Stauffer

Gratitude Friday 6/4/21 - Being Appreciative

grat·i·tude - /ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/ - the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

As this Positive Psychology article notes, feeling grateful helps make you feel happier and is good for your mental and physical health. This is true even among those already struggling with mental health issues. Studies show that practicing gratitude curbs the use of words expressing negative emotions and shifts inner attention away from such negative emotions as resentment and envy, minimizing the possibility of ruminating, which is a hallmark of depression.

I am not naturally a positive person. My brain automatically sees a glass as half full (at best). I have to work at it constantly. One of the things that recovery has taught me over and over again is that a person can change fundamental things through persistent effort. Gratitude helps keep my Eeyore brain in check. Gratitude Fridays are an opportunity to regularly reflect on thing I am appreciative for and to hear what others value. One thing that I am appreciative of are quotes. There have been great thinkers through human history, quotes allow us to reach through time and experience the human condition with some of our greatest minds. Our own history shows us we can overcome just about anything.

So this week, I am posting some of my favorite gratitude quotes.

· “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” ― Maya Angelou, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

· “True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” ― Seneca

· “Be mindful. Be grateful. Be positive. Be true. Be kind.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

· “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ― Epicurus

· “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

· “If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” ― Meister Eckhart

· “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ― John F. Kennedy

· “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” ― James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small

· “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

· “My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus."Stephen W. Hawking

· “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ― Voltaire

· “Gratitude looks to the Past and love to the Present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

· “Take full account of what Excellencies you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

· “It has been said that life has treated me harshly; and sometimes I have complained in my heart because many pleasures of human experience have been withheld from me…if much has been denied me, much, very much, has been given me…” ― Helen Keller, The Open Door

· “They do not love, that do not show their love.” ― William Shakespeare, The Two Gentlemen of Verona

· “When my parents were liberated, four years before I was born, they found that the ordinary world outside the camp had been eradicated. There was no more simple meal, no thing was less than extraordinary: a fork, a mattress, a clean shirt, a book. Not to mention such things that can make one weep: an orange, meat and vegetables, hot water. There was no ordinariness to return to, no refuge from the blinding potency of things, an apple screaming its sweet juice.” ― Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces

· “The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything; the soul that complains can find comfort in nothing.” - Hannah Whitall Smith

Consider posting your favorite gratitude quote below. What are you grateful for today?

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