Gratitude: The Attitude

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December 23, 2015 by Mark Hammerstrom

‘Tis the season.  No doubt this is the easiest time of year to get all wrapped up (pun intended), stressed out and overwhelmed.  In addition to the stresses of the holiday season, most companies are preparing for next year so the need to hit the ground running ratchets things up even more.  Of course, let’s not forget the very difficult news we receive in bunches every day.

Sometimes I liken it to wearing a Velcro suit when the Cottonwood trees bloom.  Where does all this stuff come from?  It seems like it comes from every direction at once, sticks to us, piles up, starts to weigh us down and is nearly impossible to get rid of.

However, more and more evidence seems to be accumulating that something as simple as developing an ‘attitude of gratitude’ can significantly add to our physical and mental health.

A small blurb in the November 25th edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune by Allie Shah caught my eye. The day of publication is no coincidence of course, but really it takes discipline to create and maintain a focus on being grateful each and every day of the year.  She points out, though, that “Gratitude has been the focus of a flurry of recent research on the mind-body connection. Daily gratitude exercises have been linked to reduced levels of depression, anxiety and sleep problems.”  She goes on to cite studies that support gratitude boosting everything from the immune system to improving heart health.

Of course, here at UCS we have a lot to be grateful for:  our valued customers for one thing. Without you we don’t have a business!  Our team for another, and not only the superb job they do each day but for all the great service they perform to ‘give back’ to the communities we live in. I am very grateful to be part of such a team.

Yet, I would think most of us, even in our hardest moments, would be able to find some other things, perhaps very simple things, to be grateful for.

A while back someone I respect very much said that they made it a daily discipline to write down (not just think about, but write down), each day at least one thing they were grateful for.  So I decided to try that. After more than a year now, I have a list of well in excess of 365 things that I have made myself consciously aware of being grateful for.  That sort of knocked me out for a minute, because if I had not put them down in writing in front of me I would never have really fully acknowledged how many things there are each day to be grateful for.  Some days there are three or four, some days many more so the actual number is pretty amazing. They range from the seemingly silly, like ice cream (which I am mightily grateful for), to the highly important like health, shelter, food, clothing clean water and clean air.  This has also taught me to be grateful for one thing in particular—this day.  It is too precious to waste and, really, it is all we are promised.

So, to close let me offer you a little gift of thanks for reading this blog.  It is a short Sanskrit proverb attributed to the Indian poet and playwright Kālidāsa writing in the fifth century A.D.  It goes like this:

Look to this day,

For it is life,

The very life of life.

In its brief course lie all

The realities and verities of existence,

The Bliss of growth,

The splendor of action

The glory of power—

 

For yesterday is but a dream,

And tomorrow is only a vision,

But today, well lived,

Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

 

Look well, therefore, to this day.

 

Founded in 1950, United Credit Service, Inc. is a full service, licensed revenue cycle management and debt collection agency in Wisconsin providing effective, customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners. Visit our website at http://www.unitedcreditservice.com, call 877-723-2902 or check out our YouTube video.

 

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2 thoughts on “Gratitude: The Attitude

  1. Jim C. says:

    Thank you Mark. That is truly inspirational. We all have something or some one in our life that we are grateful for each and everyday. During these hectic preChristmas days we need to pause and thank God for all that is good in our lives and the world. Blessings to you and your family!

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