As the leaves turn golden and the air grows crisp, many of us begin to reflect on the things we are thankful for. The season of thankfulness is more than just a time for turkey and stuffing. It’s a time to turn inwards, to embrace gratitude, and to remember the beauty and power of human connection.

Gratitude isn’t just an emotion; it’s a practice, a way of life that has profound effects on our mental and physical well-being and the health of our communities.

The Power of Gratitude

Gratitude has been the subject of numerous studies and research projects. Findings consistently indicate that practicing gratitude can lead to increased happiness, reduced symptoms of depression, and a heightened sense of overall well-being, but the benefits of gratitude don’t stop there.

When we practice gratitude, our focus shifts from what we lack to what we have, offering a sense of abundance. This feeling can transform our entire perspective and approach to life.

In the midst of challenges and adversity, focusing on gratitude provides a beacon of light. It reminds us of the good in the world and in our lives, and it gives us strength to move forward with hope and determination, no matter what the circumstances.

Community, Connection, and Support: The Pillars of Gratitude

Gratitude isn’t simply an individual experience. It thrives when supported by three key elements: community, connection, and support. These three pillars intertwine and interact to create a foundation of positivity, resilience, and mutual appreciation.


The communities we belong to shape our identities, values, and experiences. They provide a sense of belonging, and a place where we can share our joys, sorrows, challenges, and aspirations. Whether a community is based on recovery, interest, culture, shared experiences, or other commonalities, communities help to build gratitude.

When we engage with supportive, healthy communities, we witness acts of kindness, love, and compassion. We see neighbors helping each other, individuals coming together for a shared cause, and people uplifting one another in recovery. This collective experience reinforces the practice of gratitude, reminding us that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.


Humans are social creatures. We thrive on connection – it’s what gives our lives depth and meaning. In the realm of gratitude, connections – whether with family, friends, or a romantic partner – offer countless opportunities to recognize and appreciate others.

Through our relationships, we discover the understanding found in shared experiences, the comfort of being understood, and the joy of mutual growth. Our connections remind us that we are not alone in our recovery journey, that there are others who value us, and that there is a whole world full of people to be thankful for.


Support goes hand in hand with community and connection. When we face challenges or hardships in our lives, it’s the support from those around us that uplifts and strengthens us in our recovery. Likewise, when we offer our support to others, we participate in a cycle of giving and receiving, embodying the very essence of gratitude.

Support is not just about showing up. It’s also found in the little things: a comforting word, a listening ear, or a simple act of kindness. By both giving and receiving support, we strengthen our bonds with others in recovery and deepen our practice of gratitude.

8 Ways to Practice Gratitude in Everyday Life

Embracing gratitude requires conscious effort. Here are some simple ways to nurture gratitude in your recovery every day:

  1. Keep a Gratitude Journal: Each day, jot down three things you’re thankful for. It can be as simple as a good meal or as profound as the love of a family member. Over time, you’ll find that even on challenging days, there’s always something to be grateful for.
  2. Gratitude Meditation: Spend a few quiet minutes each day in meditation, focusing on the positive aspects of your life. Use this time to truly feel grateful for all that you have.
  3. Keep a Gratitude Jar: Set up a jar in a communal area of your home. Every day, write down something you’re grateful for on a slip of paper and place it in the jar. Over time, the jar will fill with reminders of the good in your life. If you live with others, encourage them to join in!
  4. Express Gratitude Out Loud: Take a moment each day to tell someone you appreciate them. This can be a loved one, a coworker, or even a stranger who made a positive impact on your day.
  5. Take a Gratitude Walk: Go on regular walks and make it a point to notice and appreciate the sights, smells, sounds, and little joys around you. This could be the warm sun on your face, the chirping of birds, or a friendly smile from a passerby.
  6. Practice Mindful Eating: Before eating, take a moment to appreciate the food in front of you. Think about the effort that went into growing, transporting, and preparing it. Eat slowly and truly savor each bite.
  7. Gratitude Reminders: Set reminders on your phone or computer to pause and think of something you’re grateful for. This can serve as a regular nudge to maintain a mindset of gratitude throughout the day.
  8. Serve Others: Volunteering and helping others can deepen your appreciation for what you have and give you perspective on the blessings in your life. By giving, we often receive a greater sense of gratitude in return.

As the season of thankfulness approaches, let’s not limit our gratitude to a single day or season. By understanding the vital roles of community, connection, and support, we can fully embrace gratitude and carry its benefits with us throughout the year.

Let’s embrace connection, the strength of community, and the magic of mutual support to build a foundation filled with love, appreciation, and boundless gratitude this season and as we walk through life together in recovery.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving full of gratitude and blessings.

About Herren Wellness

Herren Wellness is a thriving community of people at all stages in their recovery journey. We introduce holistic therapies and strategies centered around emotional, physical, and spiritual wellness, in addition to life coaching sessions, family support and an individualized wellness plan to provide a solid foundation in recovery from alcohol and substance use.

We believe that staying connected and community has a lasting impact on recovery, and encourage all alumni to participate in our weekly alumni meetings, seasonal events and annual retreat. Your connection to Herren Wellness doesn’t end when your stay ends; we are there for you throughout your recovery journey.