Share Your Gratitude, Spread Some Joy

Shana Gardner, CAS, Operations

"A grateful world is a world full of joyful people."
David Steindl-Rast

It's all but impossible to think about gratitude this time of year without your mind instantly going to Thanksgiving. It's a time for everyone to reflect on what they're grateful for and appreciate what they have, but the practice of gratitude extends well beyond the holiday.

Did you know that gratitude is linked to a slew of physical and emotional benefits?  In practicing it, a person may experience benefits like lowering their blood pressure, getting better-quality sleep, having higher self-esteem—and just being happier!

It's not just opinion; positive psychology studies by leading expert Robert Emmons have found that gratitude benefits us physically, mentally, and socially. Because gratitude is inherently shared, it can benefit us professionally, too; a study by Portland State University found that people who received more expressions of gratitude at work improved their sleep quality, reduced headaches, and practiced better eating habits, while another study showed that managers who shared their gratefulness with employees saw significant increases in productivity.  A sincere "thank you" can do wonders to raise spirits in the workplace!

Sincerity is the key; gratitude is a joy, not an obligation, and thoughtful, freely-given appreciation is the most beneficial.

Gratitude is made possible by anything and everything, whether it's good health or receiving a gift, a comfortable chair or the embrace of a loved one. It's something anyone can practice at any time for any reason; it doesn't require any special tools or skills, a lot of time, or rules to follow.  It's simply pausing to take a moment to reflect, whether it's writing something down in a gratitude journal or on a slip of paper, or even just making a mental note.

For years, I've kept a gratitude jar.  My jar is a marigold carnival glass cookie jar (because aesthetics!), which has been filled with colorful slips of paper that I've jotted notes on. Some are a single word, some are a paragraph.  Sometimes when I'm feeling down I'll pull a few slips from the jar to read and remind myself of what I'm grateful for, some of those fleeting moments that aren't at the forefront of my mind all the time but that a simple sentence can bring rushing back.  They never fail to lift my mood as I get to experience the gratefulness that I felt when I put that slip in the jar all over again.

This is the peak season for business gifting, which provides an excellent way to further express gratitude to every employee and client—or any other person you can imagine!  Giving a gift is a wonderful chance to not only express your own gratitude but to provide your recipients with the same opportunity for growth and happiness.

Here at Maple Ridge Farms, we believe in not only giving a gift, but also giving an experience.  That experience of delicious food provides your recipients with a reason to pause and enjoy the moment, to truly appreciate your gratitude for them. The excuse to stop and smell the roses—or the chocolate, as it may be—is likely just what they need to gain that little bit of happiness to make their day brighter and their heart lighter.

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