The Joy of Gratitude: A Library Program and Inspirational Reads

Practicing gratitude is one of the simplest, most powerful and accessible ways to live a more joyful and fulfilling life, regardless of what is going on in your life or the world. 

Gratitude, or being thankful, is a positive emotion that helps naturally elevate mood, joy, and appreciation; attract more good things into your life; provide a sense of balance and perspective; shift your energy, and bring more of what you want into your life.

Performing simple acts of gratitude in our daily lives such as showing appreciation and returning kindness can help elevate energy levels, optimism, and productivity, and has long-term mental health/emotional benefits. 

On November 21 at 7pm, the library presents an inspirational workshop called “5 Daily Exercises in Gratitude”.  Licensed psychologist Dr. Margaret DeLong will cover simple, doable, powerful daily exercises in gratitude that take less than five minutes a day. These exercises will guide you from your first waking moments, to when your head hits the pillow at the end of the day, and will show you how to harness the power of gratitude to heal and grow at different moments in your everyday life.

Says Delong, “Don’t save gratitude for the good days. Gratitude is truly most powerful on our difficult days. Simply put, gratitude heals. It is not happiness that brings us gratitude. It is gratitude that leads to happiness.”

You will learn:

  • How you can start every day in a better mood with little time or effort by priming your brain with just two words
  • About the brain science behind gratitude and setting your intention for the day, and how you can make it work for you effortlessly
  • How gratitude can help with falling asleep and getting back to sleep when those “worry thoughts” keep you awake at 3AM
  • How gratitude can improve your relationships with your partner, children, and clients, and improve your satisfaction in life and your business
  • Why there is no such thing as a “negative” emotion, and how to use your pain and discomfort to learn and grow
  • Three benefits of focusing on gratitude at bedtime.

Delong has written 2 books, I Can See Clearly Now : A Memoir About Love, Grief, And Gratitude, and her latest 2020 release – Feeling Good: 35 Proven Ways to Happiness, Even During Tough Times, both published by Peacock Proud Press.

The program is open to all and no registration is required.

And here are some inspirational reads on the theme of gratitude that are available to borrow with your Livingston Library card.

(All descriptions are provided by the publishers.)

Grateful : The Transformative Power Of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass

We know that gratitude is good, but many of us find it hard to sustain a meaningful life of gratefulness.  Using her trademark blend of historical research, spiritual insights, and timely cultural observation, Bass shows how we can overcome this gap and offers up surprising, relevant, and powerful insights to practice gratitude.

Gratitude by Oliver Sacks

During the last few months of his life, Sacks wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death. Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life.

Gratitude Daily: 21 Days to More Joy and Less Stress by Nataly Kogan

21 short, fun lessons that you can do anytime and anywhere, featuring practices such as “Gratitude Zoom,” “Tiny Miracles,” and “Gratitude for Imperfection.” In each 10-15 minute lesson, you’ll not only learn how to do each practice, but why, as Nataly shares fascinating tidbits from psychology, neuroscience, and her own successes.

The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan

Getting advice at every turn from psychologists, academics, doctors, and philosophers, Kaplan brings readers on a smart and witty journey to discover the value of appreciating what you have. Relying on both amusing personal experiences and extensive research, Kaplan explores how gratitude can transform every aspect of life, including marriage and friendship, money and ambition, and health and fitness. 

I Want To Thank You : How A Year Of Gratitude Can Bring Joy And Meaning In A Disconnected World by Gina Hamadey

Hamadey chronicles how twelve months spent writing 365 thank you notes to strangers, neighbors, family, and friends shifted her perspective – and why developing a lasting active gratitude practice can make you a happier person, heal complicated relationships, and reconnect you with the people you love — all with just a little bit of bravery at the mailbox.

Leading With Gratitude : Eight Leadership Practices For Extraordinary Business Results by  Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

Showing gratitude to employees is the easiest, fastest, most inexpensive way to boost performance. Gostick and Elton introduce eight simple ways managers can show employees they are valued. They supplement their insights and advice with stories of how many of today’s most successful leaders–such as Alan Mulally of Ford and Hubert Joly of Best Buy–successfully incorporated gratitude into their leadership styles.

The Power Of Thank You : Discover The Joy Of Gratitude by Joyce Meyer

“Each moment that you’re given is a precious gift from God. You can choose to have a thankful attitude and live each moment full of joy, simply because God is good.” Renowned Bible teacher Meyer encourages us to take a look at ourselves and the importance of being thankful.

Thanks A Thousand : A Gratitude Journey by A. J. Jacobs

After being dared by his son, A. J. Jacobs decided to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee. The resulting journey takes him across the globe and transforms his life.

Wake Up Grateful : The Transformative Practice Of Taking Nothing For Granted by Kristi Nelson

With questions for reflection, daily exercises, and perspective prompts, this book promises profound personal change through the practice of taking nothing for granted.

The Way Of Gratitude : A New Spirituality For Today by Galen Guengerich

Through his personal story, poems that resonate with his spiritual message, and guided spiritual practices, including “gratitude goals,” Guengerich helps readers discover how the way of gratitude can make them happier and healthier, and provide a new sense of belonging not only to the universe as a whole but also to themselves.

Archana Chiplunkar, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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