A few weeks ago, I was talking to my grandma on the phone. She was at her house in Minnesota and told me she was so grateful for her furnace. I loved that she was so grateful for something we often take for granted. It also resonated because Nick and I had our heaters replaced before the first cold of the year. When the wind was blowing outside, I was grateful we had new heaters to keep us warm.

I spent last week with Grandma and she showed her gratitude so many times. Each time she ate, she first blessed her food, then blessed and thanked all the people who got the food to her. She took a moment to appreciate the farmer who grew it, the grocery store stocker, the person who cooked it, and everyone in between.

Being gracious improves health in multiple ways. It helps us feel more optimistic, deal with adversity, and build relationships. Also importantly, it helps us get through difficult situations. I don’t have any scientific research to back it up, but personally, feeling grateful gets me out of my own head. It helps me see the bigger world and stop being so damn selfish.

You can meditate or keep a gratitude journal. I like to get gratitude out of my head and share it with others. Say thank you. Show appreciation. Say it out loud. Thanks for the lesson, Grandma.

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