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4 Books About Gratitude

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It seems that everyone these days is trying to live their lives more intentionally and with gratitude. And if you made a promise to yourself that you wanted to do both of those things – then the time to get started is now! 

Giving thanks, showing your appreciation, and being grateful are fantastic ways to show yourself – and others – how much you care. And there is no shortage of books out there that can get you started down the path.

  1. Grateful: The Subversive Practice of Giving Thanks by Diana Butler Bass
    • If gratitude is good, why is it so hard to do? In Grateful, Diana Butler Bass untangles our conflicting understandings of gratitude and sets the table for a renewed practice of giving thanks.
    • We know that gratitude is good, but many of us find it hard to sustain a meaningful life of gratefulness. Four out of five Americans report feeling gratitude on a regular basis, but those private feelings seem disconnected from larger concerns of our public lives. In Grateful, cultural observer and theologian Diana Butler Bass takes on this “gratitude gap” and offers up surprising, relevant, and powerful insights to practice gratitude.
    • Bass, author of the award-winning Grounded and ten other books on spirituality and culture, explores the transformative, subversive power of gratitude for our personal lives and in communities. Using her trademark blend of historical research, spiritual insights, and timely cultural observation, she shows how we can overcome this gap and make change in our own lives and in the world.
    • With honest stories and heartrending examples from history and her own life, Bass reclaims gratitude as a path to greater connection with god, with others, with the world, and even with our own souls. It’s time to embrace a more radical practice of gratitude—the virtue that heals us and helps us thrive.
  2. The Joy of Appreciative Living: Your 28-Day Plan to Greater Happiness Using the Principles of Appreciative Inquiry by Jacqueline Bscobert Kelm
    • Based on a national joy study, Jackie Kelm presents a 28-day blueprint to greater happiness broken down into 3 simple steps that take just a few minutes a day: The equivalent of a “pill for joy.” These astonishingly simple exercises increased happiness for participants while doing them, but more importantly, created long-term changes in happiness that were still being measured six months later. The program is based on the principles of Appreciative Inquiry, and Kelm provides a detailed discussion of these principles and how to use them in daily life beyond the 28-day program. The book is not just a blueprint for getting happier in 28 days: It is a blueprint for leading a happy life.
  3. The Gratitude Diaries: How  Year of Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan
    • It’s easy to look at others and think how lucky they are, and sometimes finding the positives in our own lives can be hard. Success is often measured in tangible ways, and as we strive to achieve more and get more, we forget that it’s often the simple things that can bring us the most joy. After reading about how expressing gratitude for the little things can be incredibly powerful and affect our lives in profound ways, Janice Kaplan decided to spend a year living gratefully and find out whether being grateful really does offer a new path to happiness.
    • Her experiences of living gratefully will be anchored by intriguing research findings, as well as in-depth interviews with real people, those in public life, and neuroscientists and experts in the field, including Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude.
    • Recounted with warmth and humour, this story-filled memoir will inspire readers to reflect on the true meaning of gratitude, and provide them with a structure and context for making significant changes in every aspect of their lives. For not only can gratitude make you more honest, courageous and generous; research has shown that it can also improve overall health and reduce stress and depression.
  4. Living Life as a Thank You: The Transformative Power of Daily Gratitude by Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons
    • Whatever is given — even a difficult and challenging moment — is a gift. Living as if each day is a thank-you can help transform fear into courage, anger into forgiveness, isolation into belonging, and another’s pain into healing. Saying thank you every day inspires feelings of love, compassion, and hope. These ideas are the basis for this timely book. Authors Nina Lesowitz and Mary Beth Sammons present a simple, but comprehensive program for incorporating gratitude into one’s life, and reaping the many benefits that come from doing so. The book is divided into ten chapters from “Thank You Power” and “Ways to Stay Thankful in Difficult Times” to “Gratitude as a Spiritual/Cultural Practice ” and “Putting Gratitude into Action.” Each chapter includes stories of individuals whose lives have been transformed by embracing this program, along with motivating quotes and blessings, and a suggested gratitude practice such as keeping a weekly gratitude journal and starting a gratitude circle.

Check with your local library or pick up your own copy of any of these four books to help you start leading a more grateful life. You might be surprised by how transformative it is to lead a life filled with appreciation and gratitude.

(*All book descriptions courtesy of Amazon)

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