Gratitude – It Does a Body Good

I’m incredibly grateful. Not only the part of the globe we live on—the Pacific Northwest in the United States—but for our specific town, Boise, Idaho. It’s quite possibly one of the friendliest places on earth.

Boise is quite possibly one of the friendliest places on earth

The words “gratitude” and “grace” share a common origin: the Latin word gratus, meaning “pleasing” or “thankful.” The Association for Humanistic Psychology defines gratitude as “Orientation towards noticing and appreciating the positive in the world.”

Boise – the home of free beer

University of California Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons’ research revealed that grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that literally boosts the immune system—a clear PHYSICAL benefit.

Boise offers free smells (good ones) too

Dr. Alex Wood, a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, said that  “Gratitude is an integral part of well-being”—a distinct benefit to our MENTAL and EMOTIONAL faculties.

Gratitude boosts whole health

Gratitude helps to open the heart, the seat of compassion. It helps us to see the good in our experience. It enhances trust and helps us to forgive—a benefit to our SPIRITUAL aspect.

How do you weave gratitude into the tapestry of your life?


58 thoughts on “Gratitude – It Does a Body Good

  1. Oh how I enjoyed the sign photos here. Made me laugh. I’m so grateful for belly laughs with friends, for the ability to write love letters to my guy, I Love You cards to my kids and grandkids, free posts on my blog 🙂 and long journal entries to myself. Writing is a gift that I am forever grateful for. It brings me closer to the soul within me. The one we sometimes, in the busyness of life, ignore. The soul that shows us the light within; my gratitude for this shows no bounds.

  2. The folks from Boise, Idaho are indeed very friendly. The first North American friend I made in Spain was from Boise Idaho and she made me feel so welcome. We are like sisters now. Gratitude is so good for your soul and for your health. I wake up every morning grateful and go to bed every night, thankful for a great day. I read somewhere, if you are grateful for three things first thing every morning, the rest of the day will go well. Works for me!! I am grateful for wonderful blogging friends like you, Laurie.

  3. What a great question, Laurie.I like Darlene’s concrete example above and probably do this without too much thinking. As an optimist, most of the time, I find gratitude usually comes easily. But I don’t want to take it for granted. I like the way noticing and gratitude are related. Mindfulness leads naturally to gratitude and compassion.

    Of course waking up to the awareness that I get to play with Lydia and see what she has learned over the night is a great incentive to live in the present, enjoy, and say thanks!

    • Shirley — “Noticing” is part of the foundation of my life so I can agree experientially that it does, indeed, lead to gratitude and compassion.

      And I so enjoy seeing the photos you and Lydia on Instagram!

  4. One of the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal is looking back. This morning I found a posting from a year ago that detailed our deliverance from a sticky situation. It was glorious to read about this miracle once again.

    Thank you, Laurie, for the research that proves what we already know about gratitude and optimism. The signs aren’t too shabby either – ha ha!

  5. I don’t consciously practice being grateful on a daily basis, but I’ll frequently pause during my daily (more-or-less) routine to consider how my life has turned out. I feel grateful that the random chance of my birth in the USA in the 20th century allows me to live a life that most people on the planet cannot even dream about.

    Gratitude hits home particularly hard during golf season. I will often (every other round or so) express to my playing partners how lucky and fortunate I am to be able to play golf, afford to play golf, have time to play golf, and can be a decent enough player to get true joy from the stupid game.

    Less often–a few times I year–I get into the wilderness–places like the BWCAW– or national treasures such as almost anywhere in the Rocky Mountains, or at the Grand Canyon, or at the seashore, or at one of the Great Lakes (Superior especially). At those times I am blown-away grateful to be able to sit in wonder and awe of how such a simple pleasure can be so fulfilling.


  6. How do I weave gratitude into my life?

    I think the first step is acknowledging it. It’s so easy to envision the “perfect” life, instead of realizing what a wonderful life I already have. Maybe using my gratitude journal on regular bases would help?

  7. Such a beautiful post. I believe in the so- called “law of Attraction” that´s why I´d say that being grateful is probably in direct relation with being happy. We receive what we give…
    I liked what you stressed above as to the etymology of words, and how Grace and Grateful are intertwined words!. Happy tuesday, dear Laurie… Love & best wishes 😘

  8. Laurie, thank you for this post, I needed to hear this today. I am with Chris in his opinion that those who have been blessed with the conveniences and marvels of the 20th and 21st centuries should be grateful to be alive in our time. Shoot, I am grateful to be alive at all, modern medicine has seen to that and I am grateful. The Good Lord has seen fit to let me draw breath for another day and I am grateful. All that is just for starters. I hope at the end of my time here, the Tapestry that was my life will be so interwoven with thanks and appreciation, that the background upon which all else rests is the golden color of Gratitude.

  9. Thanks for the chuckles the signs offered, especially the “free smells.” I too have developed strong situational awareness. I often silently offer my gratitude. At my nieces wedding this past weekend my heart filled up with love and gratitude watching my young nieces and nephews laughing and dancing. One dear young nephew asked me to dance to a favorite song of mine, we sang and danced through the song. Special moments!

    • Audrey — I love the term you used, “situational awarreness.” And thank you for sharing a wonderful family example here today. I saw some of the wedding photos on your Facebook page — beautiful!

  10. I love the signs – so much humor there. I think humor is also important in life, softening the drama of “things I cannot change or control”. I think my level of gratitude has narrowed this year, but I am working on paying less attention to the political climate and what I see as a decline in our societal values, and paying more attention to being grateful for what I have in my life. Until more recently, that gratitude came naturally – now I’m practicing getting it back.

  11. Laurie, I am so glad that you and Len are so grateful, happy, and content in your new hometown!
    After living in Mammoth Lakes, California I am familiar with the friendliness of a small town.
    Each day, I am most grateful for the good health, love, and joy I share with my husband, children, and grandchildren!
    Wishing you and Len a joyful and blessed Thanksgiving celebration!

  12. Wonderful advice Laurie to be grateful is really good for us …love the photos by the way , they mad me laugh and laughter is good too.
    Something struck me only the other day after I had moaned profusely. There is equally nothing wrong in a good healthy moan because if your moaning there really isn’t anything major to moan about.
    If you really had something to moan about you simply wouldn’t have the energy to moan about it .
    Do you get my drift ? I don’t know whether you can read between the line but this message is a form of gratitude.

  13. Gratitude is so important to me – it helps me put things into perspective. There are irritations in life that are nothing when you count your blessings. And I have so many. Boise looks like a fun place – I’m grateful for humor!

  14. Laurie, I love the sound of your town!! Hello Boise!! Wish I could visit. Lovely photos, the signs are so welcoming and of course I want to enter the establishment. This is a lovely celebration to gratitude, Laurie which makes me smile! After many debilitating illnesses, a serious eye disease but still good vision I am grateful for so much in my life…and particularly my wonderful family and friends. xx

  15. I have a hard time with gratitude. Both expressing it as well as receiving it. I tend to take people and the things they do for granted. I know its not right; its just my nature. I don’t like asking for help ‘cause I don’t like to be beholding to people. I’d rather say things like, “I’d rather do it myself” or “Let me do that.” So, since it doesn’t come natural, I weave gratitude into my life through a conscious effort to so. A friend once told me, when you are finding it difficult to generate the proper emotion in a given situation, then, “Fake it ‘till you feel it.” Seems most people can’t tell the difference.

  16. Great topic, Laurie. A few years after I returned from Peace Corps, I came across a new Melody Beattie book, 40 Days to a Miracle. I wanted to get my memoir out and at the time it felt like that would take a miracle, so I grabbed the book and devoured it. Beattie introduces the idea of being grateful for the “feelings and events” that happen, especially those we don’t like. Long story short, my memoir got published and finding gratitude in the oddest of places has become a habit. Makes for great writing prompts too. 🙂

  17. That is just how I pictured Boise as a place of benign temperament and gracious spirit. Whether is be with interaction on social media, or at my own blogsite, other sites and face to face dealings at work I try at all times to maintain cordiality and stated appreciation for dialogue and positive energy.

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