As leaves don brilliant shades of red and gold and the air becomes crisper, it’s a telltale sign that Thanksgiving is near. While we prepare for family gatherings and delicious feasts, it’s also important to remember the meaning of giving thanks — pausing in our busy lives to express gratitude.
What does it truly mean to live with a heart of gratitude, not only on Thanksgiving but also every day of the year?
Gratitude is more than just a polite expression of thanks; it’s a profound and transformative way of living. When we practice gratitude, we shift our perspective from what we lack to what we have.
This shift in mindset has a ripple effect on our lives, influencing our emotional and physical well-being and our relationships. At its core, gratitude involves acknowledging and appreciating the blessings, both big and small, that grace our lives daily.
Gratitude is Healing
Scientific studies tell us that practicing gratitude is good for our health. It reduces levels of stress, anxiety, lessens the risk of chronic illness and depression, boosts our immune system, and improves our sleep quality.
Gratitude also strengthens our relationships. When we’re mindful and grateful, we can foster deeper and more meaningful connections with the people in our lives. By listening attentively, engaging fully, and being present in our interactions, we can nurture relationships that are essential for our emotional well-being and happiness.
Gratitude also helps us develop resilience by shifting our focus from life’s challenges to its opportunities. A grateful heart can help us bounce back from setbacks and adapt to adversity with a more positive mindset. It teaches us acceptance of the present moment as it is, without judgment, freeing us to find gratitude even in challenging situations.
Expressing Gratitude This Giving Tuesday and Every Day
At Inspire, we express our gratitude in many ways. We want to be generous with our time, talent, and resources.
During our regular team calls, we carve out time to talk about our achievements, to celebrate and thank one another. We all have one additional day off per month to volunteer — a powerful way to express gratitude. And then there’s financial giving. It’s at our core; to not only help others, but also to foster that sense of fulfillment and gratitude within ourselves.
This Giving Tuesday, Inspire picked six organizations that work with causes closest to our hearts, and we’re matching any team members’ donations. We encourage you to consider aiding these organizations too, and to volunteer your time and talents to support those who need it the most this holiday season:
- A21: This organization is on a mission to end slavery and human trafficking. Bought and sold against their will, vulnerable children, women and men — through force, fraud and coercion — are exploited for their bodies and labor. A21 works to break the cycle of human trafficking.
- Animal Welfare Institute: The AWI has been dedicated to reducing human caused animal suffering and seeks better treatment of animals everywhere: in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild.
- Chosen: One of our incredible clients, Chosen helps families heal from trauma through coaching, counseling and therapeutic services. While they’ve focused on children who’ve gone through the child welfare system — foster kids, adopted kids and those placed with a relative — their services are extending to reach all and any who want to form stronger relationships and keep families together.
- The Elephant Sanctuary: We love animals here at Inspire, and this organization provides captive elephants with individualized care, the companionship of a herd, and the opportunity to live out their lives in a safe haven dedicated to their well-being. They also educate the public about the complex needs of elephants in captivity and the crisis facing elephants in the wild.
- Make-A-Wish: A well-known and well-respected nonprofit, this organization grants life-changing wishes for children fighting illnesses. When you donate to Make-A-Wish America, you’re giving children renewed strength to fight their illnesses, bringing families closer together, creating cherished memories and uniting entire communities. You can change lives.
- Tattered Paws and Golden Hearts Rescue: This wonderful organization is raising awareness and support for dogs in need of medical attention, safety, foster homes, adoption, transportation, flight buddies, and financial support. Animals across the U.S. are being euthanized at an alarming rate. Tattered Paws and Golden Hearts Rescue works across the U.S. to achieve as many rescues as possible.
We want to express our gratitude for you and our clients. Happy Thanksgiving!