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Fourteen Reasons to be Grateful

iGnite -gratitude changes everything

Point to Ponder:
Do you regularly acknowledge what you are grateful for?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

As you have likely noticed, during the month of November we are celebrating gratitude! Not only are we eager to blast out our gratitude in our social media #ignitegratefulgram contest, but we are fired up to wear our gratitude loud and proud with our NEW ‘Grateful’ fall apparel.

We are not at all suggesting or asking that you post or wear your grateful spirit to be boastful about your “things”. Instead, the motivation behind our Grateful Campaign is to encourage the daily action of giving thanks for our amazing lives and blessings…because when life gets inevitably tough, a grateful spirit can change a bad day into a good day, and a good day into a great day, because gratitude changes everything. I’m hopeful that our Grateful Campaign will inspire and reignite a grateful spirit in everyone.

There is no denying that acknowledging our blessings on a daily basis leads to a physiological reaction that creates a happy and peacful state in the body. To go a step further, based on the findings from a fascinating gratitude experiment conducted by two psychologists, writing down what we are grateful for leads to even greater results. Check this out:

“Two psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, wrote an article about an experiment they conducted on gratitude and its impact on well-being. The study split several hundred people into three different groups and all of the participants were asked to keep daily diaries. The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things; the second group was told to record their unpleasant experiences; and the last group was instructed to make a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of 1. alertness, 2. enthusiasm, 3. determination, 4. optimism, and 5. energy. In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less 6. depression and 7. stress, and 8. were more likely to help others, 9. exercised more regularly, and 10. made greater progress toward achieving personal goals. In addition, Dr. Emmons’ research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more 11. creative, 12. bounce back more quickly from adversity, 13. have a stronger immune system, and 14. have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. He further points out that “To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.” – The Change Blog

Something that I am experimenting with in our family is a gratitude jar. The jar sits in the middle of our dining room table and each evening at dinner, we talk about one thing we are grateful for, followed with writing it down on piece of paper and placing it in the jar. Because I have small children who can’t write, I have been writing what they say as as well as including the date. It has become a sweet and focused time which stirs up great conversation (even with a two and a four year old). My personal goal is to revisit the jar of notes during our Thanksgiving meal and to continue writing down what we are grateful for throughout the month of November and the remainder of the year.

Another idea is to print and cut out our Grateful Printables. Then, place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. From a good nights rest, a warm a cup of coffee to the blessing of good health, family and friends, it all counts and taking the time to acknowledging your blessings will make a positive impact in your health, relationships and overall quality of life. And, several months from now or anytime you need a pick-me-up, all you have to do is read what’s in the jar and you are guaranteed a good laugh, happy cry and/or mood booster. Why? Because gratitude changes everything!

Action Item:
Print out our Grateful Printables. Place your jar, printables and pen in a high-traffic area in your home and anytime you or your family members pass by it, drop a gratitude note in the jar. Or, at dinner each evening have each family member write down and discuss what they are grateful for and place in the jar.

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Why We Share

“This life is for loving, sharing, learning, smiling, caring, forgiving, laughing, hugging, helping, dancing, wondering, healing, and even more loving.”   -Steve Maraboli

Point To Ponder:
Do you view your obstacles, successes, struggles and experiences as an opportunity to share and be a gift to others?

Action Item:
Continually share your life and gifts with others and view them as an act of service.

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

This weekend I had the fortunate opportunity to speak at a Christian women’s retreat called Soli Deo Gloria. It was a created and facilitated by a young woman named Jen Ferguson. Jen contacted me in February and shared her vision of the weekend, which was to highlight that life is an adventure and that sometimes God asks us to step out of our comfort zone and take risks so that we might grow and be challenged. She said plenty of other wonderful things about her plan, but outside of her first description I was not interested in additional information as her theme was right up my alley!

So, on Saturday, from 11:15 a.m to 12:15 p.m I spoke on the importance of honoring our temples. From regular exercise, eating a nutritious diet, the people we surround ourselves with and the information we read and listen to, all of these things pertain to honoring and keeping our temples healthy so we can live our best lives and ultimately be a gift to others. I also explained our iGnite philosophy and the blessings that occur from predominantly exercising outdoors and with positive, encouraging and fun women.

I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my opinions, however my favorite and most memorable moment was when questions began coming in, as having women share and open up about their experiences and struggles is like icing on the cake! Witnessing the bold and courageous act of standing up in front of others to comment, ask questions and express fears is very inspiring.

During this time, one of the women posed the following question, “What if I wasn’t feeling confident enough to exercise with a group and chose to exercise at home, alone?” I explained that exercise is very personal, and done in any fashion or environment is great; however, the bigger question is her lack of confidence and if not dealt with it will continue to show it’s ugly face and inhibit her from being her best and living her best life. Then, in the midst of our dialogue the topic of isolation arose and Jen eloquently interjected some of the most Biblical profound wisdom I’ve ever heard. She said, “Iron sharpens iron and we can sharpen one another, however when we’re in isolation we cannot be refined or strengthened. Therefore, when we share ourselves, our stories and our lives, not only do we have opportunity to sharpen someone else but we too will be sharpened in the process.”

I knew I would enjoy my speaking experience, however; I must admit that I was sharpened much more than I sharpened the women attending the retreat. Therefore, I encourage you to be iron for those around you, and guaranteed you will be sharpened in return.

Watch this week’s video and be sharpened!

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