Gratitude is the memory of the heart

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ruben Rios
  • 514th Air Mobility Wing

It’s November! And you know what that means… it’s time for Thanksgiving again.

Ironically, while this time of the year is seen by most as a time to give thanks and reflect on things for which we are grateful, for some, it is a very difficult time of year.

Perhaps it is the loss of a loved one or friend.

Maybe goals you set at the beginning of the year have not yet been achieved.

Often times, hardships can set us back physically, financially, or otherwise; the most significant being emotionally and mentally.

“Paying attention to what is good in your life can help you build optimism and positive emotions,” said Jacklyn Urmey, 514th Air Mobility Wing director of psychological health. “This can help you cope with daily hassles and stress and improve social relationships.”

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 514th AMW, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., attended a “Finding the Good in Yourself and Others” seminar led by Urmey, here.

“We often focus on the things that went wrong,” said Urmey. “Looking for the good is an opportunity to pay attention to the things that went right.”

One way to strengthen this skill of looking for the good is to develop a regular gratitude practice such as keeping a gratitude journal. Entries can be daily, weekly, or as frequent as desired but should include two to three things for which you are grateful as well as a reflection as to why.

“Think about the day’s events and write down two to three things that happened for which you are grateful,” said Urmey. “These good things could be events that happened, skills or strengths you were able to use, goals you achieved, or good news about people in your life.”

The goal is to reflect on each item, keeping in mind why it went well, how others contributed to the good thing, and why it was meaningful to you. Hopefully this will help build gratitude and a positive perspective.

This time of the year can sometimes be difficult, but as Airmen in the 514th AMW, it is important to remember that this isn’t just your job… this is your family.

There is always a way to overcome.

There is always someone that cares.

There is always a reason for gratitude.