For North Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday is just a few days or weeks away depending on which side of the border you call home. Whether you’re feeling lucky in life, down on your luck, or somewhere in between, I hope these gratitude quotes will inspire you to focus on your blessings and give thanks where it’s due. But first …

What’s with all the gratitude talk these days?

Forget that it’s nearly Thanksgiving for a sec. Gratitude is a pretty hot topic year-round and for good reason.

1. The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated. — William James

I can believe it. But making others feel appreciated isn’t the only reason gratitude is all the rage. Giving thanks is as good for the giver as it is for the receiver. In fact, more and more studies are proving that practising gratitude can help boost our immune systems, lower our blood pressure, improve sleep, and inspire greater joy, optimism, generosity, compassion and other good stuff!

Practising gratitude is as beneficial to our physical health as it is to our mental wellbeing. In short, it makes us feel good.

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Gratitude quotes to remind us why it’s important to give thanks.

Give and ye shall receive! Here’s how I see it. If your heart’s open, it’s open. Period. So, if it’s open enough to feel and express gratitude, it’s open enough to let opportunity in. Put another way:

2. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for. — Zig Ziglar

Similarly, if your heart’s closed, it’s closed:

3. If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. — Frank A. Clark

The best thing about gratitude? It delivers mind and body benefits without the cost of a therapist or a gym membership. Because it’s free. That’s right, folks:

4. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy. — Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

And here’s one of my faves. I share this respectfully, acknowledging that there are many who do not have enough. However, I feel it safe to assume that you do not fall into that category because you are here, reading these words on a computer or some other device.

5. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. — Aesop

Gratitude quotes to help you shift your thinking.

What if it’s not just raining in your life, but positively pouring? What if, try as you may, you simply can’t get your head out of the clouds long enough to see the sunshine?

I’ve wallowed in my share of self-pity so I’m not going to judge you, but I would like to help you reap the benefits of at least a golden ray or two. Perhaps this will help put your troubles in perspective:

6. I was complaining that I had no shoes til I met a man who had no feet. — Confucius

It makes you think, doesn’t it? And then there’s this from a woman who could neither see nor hear:

7. So much has been given to me; I have no time to ponder over that which has been denied. — Helen Keller

From the young girl who spent over two years looking at the sky from the attic in which she and her family hid:

8. As long as this exists, this sunshine and this cloudless sky, and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad? — Anne Frank

As cliche as it may be, sometimes we really do need to consider the suffering of others in order to put our own blessings in perspective:

9. My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus. — Stephen Hawking

If there is one thing that these words from Helen Keller, Anne Frank and Stephen Hawking have in common, it’s that they remind us of this:

10. Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices. — Robert Braathe

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Gratitude or attitude — which do you choose?

Today, I’ve been asked at least half a dozen times what I have planned for Thanksgiving. While I’m eager to give my answer (my daughter and I are taking a road trip to Ottawa where I look forward to lively conversation and laughter, abundant food and wine, the warmth of an inviting home and good friends, and quality time with my darling girl), I’m aware that some may find themselves celebrating in a quieter manner.

But quiet’s not necessarily bad. My hairdresser just told me that his family’s heading away without him as he has to work part of the weekend and that he can’t wait to enjoy a quiet Thanksgiving home alone. Just him, a few movies, and pizza delivery. If you choose to look at Thanksgiving through his eyes, you’ll see:

11. ‘Enough’ is a feast. — Buddhist proverb

It’s funny how we have to be reminded that meeting our needs (versus our wants) is enough. Every which way we turn, we’re encouraged to acquire more; more clothes, more TV channels, a house with more bedrooms and bathrooms … even more homes (because one isn’t good enough). The truth is, though, if all we have is a roof over our heads, clothes to keep us warm, food to fill our bellies, and love:

12. We have so much to be thankful for. One day a year hardly seems adequate.Anonymous

Anonymous was onto something when he or she came up with that one, as was the English poet and philosopher who boasted:

13. You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. — G. K. Chesterton

As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Chesterton had every right to boast. Practising gratitude to such a degree is an art that we would all be wise to master, and we can. We just have to keep this in mind:

14. There are always flowers for those who want to see them. — Henri Matisse

And on that note, I give you this final thought:

15. Find the good and praise it. — Alex Haley

Thank you for giving me the privilege of your time and support. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving.

Viv for today xo

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