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The Power of Living Gratefully
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

elderly woman smiling in nursing home

Adjusting to a New Normal With Gratitude

“I am grateful for the actions of compassion and strength that did not allow me to sink under the rough crashing waves of loss.”

These are the words of Laura Bratton when reflecting on her experience of going blind as a teenager. She was thrown into a new world that was scary and confusing. She entered that world with a guide dog, and when that companion who had become not only her aid but her best friend passed away, she was thrust into a deep cavern of incredible sadness. The quote above expresses how the love and compassion of others helped her get through. She’s also appreciative of the strength she found within that got her through. And that’s the definition of “grateful living.”

Her website, gratefulness.org, introduces visitors to a new lifestyle philosophy—one that goes deeper than just thinking positive thoughts in the face of tough times. The philosophy insists that it is a way of life dedicated to taking nothing for granted and “cultivating an appreciation and awareness for the fullness of our lives.” Even when times are difficult, the philosophy suggests that we can all “learn, grow and extend ourselves with compassion to ourselves, others and the world.” 

As Laura shares, Grateful Living centers around these basic tenants:

  • Life Is a Gift. 

  • Everything Is Surprise.

  • The Ordinary Is Extraordinary. 

  • Appreciation Is Generative. 

  • Love Is Transformative. 

It is said that these reminders are there to help us become more “resilient and available” to life.

So how do you practice Grateful Living in your everyday life?

Here are some things you can do to develop a better sense of gratitude in your life:

  • Create a gratefulness journal to help you track things that you appreciate.

  • Tell someone in your life how much you appreciate them today—don’t wait. And find a new person every day.

  • Smile more often.

  • Avoid negative media and movies with destructive content.

  • Don’t gossip or speak poorly of others.

  • Live mindfully in the moment. Don’t think about the past or the future.

  • Share only positivity and love on your social media pages.

These are just some of the many things you can do to proactively inject gratitude and “living gratefully” into your world. Mental health is a huge focus at McGregor Amasa, and that’s why we introduce our residents and our staff to new perspectives like these often. Our goal is to help our loved ones find peace in their hearts and proceed in life with positivity. We would love to extend that to your loved one. Find out more about McGregor’s mental health programs today.

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