14 Nov Mission Minute: Embracing Gratitude is Healthy!
by Kathe Rae, Manager of Mission Integration and Volunteers
This 40th Anniversary year has been so special for New Hope with all of the events and activities providing opportunities to reflect on our rich history, celebrate our vibrant present and look towards our very exciting future. As our memorable year is about to end, this Thanksgiving season is a perfect and timely reminder to consciously embrace gratitude, not just at work, but also in our personal lives.
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” William Arthur Ward
Did you know that being thankful has emotional and physical health benefits?
Expressing gratitude can help to boost a feeling of happiness and it is good for those around us. It is mutually beneficial to thank someone as you feel good about doing it and the other person feels appreciated. The NHI Kudos program is a very easy way to recognize, thank, appreciate coworkers and you will feel positive about it too. There is often a “pass it forward” effect. If someone has received gratitude, they are much more likely to feel and express it to others. It has been my experience that associates who have received kudos, will often look for opportunities to recognize others.
Grateful people are more likely to react in a kind and compassionate manner. Having a positive and appreciative outlook, promotes a sense of empathy and understanding. At New Hope, individuals with various challenges and needs are served. Associates are committed to providing support and care to all, no matter the diagnosis, behavior, personality, etc.
Being thankful can actually promote fewer health issues and reduce stress. It has been scientifically proven that people who are grateful, experience fewer aches and pains, because they are more likely to take care of their health. They report feeling healthier, focusing on why they feel good, rather than dwelling on health issues. At work or home, it is easy to start grumbling about a negative event or stressor in your life. That is a great time to think about things, perhaps 2 – 4, for which you are grateful. While this may seem a bit contrite it works. Associates have shared that on particularly stressful days, an individual we serve stopping in an office to chat or get a hug, hearing the clients sing their favorite karaoke songs, seeing our paper mache artist showing his latest animal head creation, taking part in a special party or celebration, and so much more, can all have an immediate positive effect on their mood.
The holiday season is a joyous time of the year; however, all that goes on can also be stressful. I challenge you to take a moment each day to think about something for which you are grateful. Today, I am grateful to have been a part of the New Hope mission for so many years.