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Celebrating Gratitude: Ways Seniors Can Foster a Thankful Spirit

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson

Sing it Willie. The power of gratitude and positive thinking cannot be overstated. A glass half full attitude can impact both physical and mental wellbeing. It can help you sleep better, decrease anxiety and depression, and even lower blood pressure.

Conversely, if that glass always looks half empty, you are creating negativity that will keep you from living your best life.

Studies show that an upbeat outlook on life can increase our ability to cope with whatever comes our way. This is not to say we need to don rose-colored glasses. We live in the real world and that means life can throw a curveball at any time. But an appreciation of the gifts we have – large and small - makes us stronger and more resilient when we need to be.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder

Make a Note

‘Tis the season to take stock of all that we are grateful for. As you reflect on the wonderful gifts in your life, why not chronicle your feelings in a journal? Research suggests that those who keep gratitude journals experience fewer physical symptoms, feel more connected to others, and just generally have a better disposition and more optimistic view of life.  

“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

Uplift Others

The best way to express gratitude for our lives is to reach out to others in need. Maybe it’s a friend who is struggling at the moment. A family member may need a shoulder to lean on. Or maybe you feel connected to an organization that needs volunteers. There are so many ways to share your positive energy and spread joy. Gratitude is the gift that keeps on giving. Put it out there and it will come right back to you. Watch a friend or family member’s face light up when you tell him or her how much you appreciate them. You will make their day and their response will make yours.

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” – Doris Day

Don’t Leave Home Without Your Smile

Gratitude takes on a whole new meaning as we age. In fact, as the clock seems to rev up, gratitude for seniors is all about celebrating every day. Make it your mission to keep your smile handy to transmit that message wherever you go. Complainers are people repellents. Smiles are magnets. They are also contagious. Bring yours to the party and see how happiness multiplies.

Share Your Space

If you are lucky enough to live in an Overture senior apartment, your home can be gratitude central. Invite friends for lunch or make it an evening soiree. Streamline the process by asking everybody to bring a dish. Make it an event focused on gratitude by asking everyone to take a turn expressing something they are thankful for.

If you haven’t made the move to an Overture senior apartment yet, now is the time to book a tour. Once you are part of a caring, sharing community, you’ll have yet another reason to be grateful.