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At Monticello West We are Grateful to be Grateful

November 23, 2020

Grateful to be grateful at Monticello West

We are so grateful to be grateful. During what has been a difficult year, the staff and residents of Monticello West assisted living community in Dallas are looking forward to Thanksgiving. It’s true that Thanksgiving will look and feel different than in years past, and hopefully, than in years ahead. But we are aware of and grateful for the fact that we have much for which to be thankful.

But before we talk about the blessings in our lives, let’s talk about the importance of gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation.

‘Contagious’ is a word that we’ve heard way too often this year, and almost always as it relates to negative forces. But positive  things, including happiness and doing good for others, is contagious, and in a very impactful way. Haesung (Annie) Jung, who led a related study while earning her Ph.D., noted that just like a virus, positive “behavior can also be transmitted across people.” The term ‘goal contagion’ means that individuals might adopt or pursue a goal that is implied by another person’s behavior. In other words, observing a positive perspective or action is likely to inspire others to respond similarly. So, your thankfulness has the potential to rub off on others, and on and on and on. It’s a powerful contagion!

Aside from being infectious, perhaps the greatest thing about gratitude is that it’s free. Forbes shared that “gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money, and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous.”

So, thankfulness is, ironically, a kind of a vicious cycle. If you take the time to take stock of what you have and appreciate, you, in turn, experience more positive feelings, improve your health, build stronger relationships, and deal with adversity moving forward.

Thankfulness can also promote better sleep. In fact, Irving Berlin wrote, and Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby sang about this. Remember the soulful musical lyrics: “When I’m worried, and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep, and I fall asleep counting my blessings…”If Bing Cosby doesn’t convince you, nothing will!

There are easy and pleasurable ways to promote or build your own inventory of gratitude.  Here are a few:

  • Three good things exercise-Every night, take ten minutes before you go to sleep to record three things that went well during the course of your day, and also acknowledge why they went well. In as little as a couple of weeks, this exercise is likely to improve depression and increase gratitude. Susan Peirce Thompson, a cognitive scientist who has studied the phenomenon, said, “if there was a drug that did that, whoever patented that drug would be rich.  Gratitude is very powerful.” Another version of this is keep a gratitude journal in which you write each night before you go to sleep. Your positive reflections are likely to help you sleep better and longer.
  • Write thank-you notes. This will help you feel happy and nurture your relationship with the person you are thanking. It will also help you identify and verbalize your thankfulness.
  • Meditate-Mindfulness is an important exercise in which you focus on the now rather than worry about the future, and you do so without judgment. Meditation helps you focus on the things for which you’re grateful.

During what has been a challenging year, we, at Monticello West senior living community, are thankful.  The residents and their loved ones regularly share with us how grateful they are for our beautiful amenities and our caring, dedicated, creative staff. We’ve worked hard to keep the residents safe, healthy, and engaged. Our team members truly are the heroes that we hear about on the news and on social media. In turn, our staff is thankful for the residents who keep them feeling appreciated, fulfilled, and often amused.


We wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

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