We’ve arrived at the 2019 holiday season and what a year it has been! There’s so much to be thankful for and yet so many of us have not spent time to reflect, realign and give thanks. I, myself, don’t fret or feel stress at this time of year, for several reasons, the main one having to do with gratitude. As an immigrant, I enjoy the fact that we have an American holiday designated for celebrating what we are thankful for. This year during the Thanksgiving holiday I gathered with friends and my family and as as I looked around the table, my heart was full of pride and a sincere acknowledgment of my great fortune to be here.
I have unlimited gratitude for my life, my work, my family, my community, my team members and the people I encounter every day. Yet, it’s not lost on me that expressing gratitude with hashtags and social media memes has become a common practice. Do we really feel gratitude and express it? In the spirit of this holiday season, I challenge you to pause, look a person in the eye and wish them well with as much sincerity as you can muster.
Research and many popular opinion pieces and blogs remind us that practicing gratitude contributes to our overall happiness. People who practice regular gratitude experience better health, resilience, and have stronger relationships. According to a new study done at The University of Southern California, better sleep, reduced symptoms of physical pain, and lower blood pressure are just a few perks for feeling thankful.
The Holiday Season provides a great opportunity to let family, co-workers, community members and others know that you care about them. So it’s perhaps slightly selfish that at our company, my leadership team and I handed out gift cards to employees for Thanksgiving, as a small gesture of thanks for their hard work.
Ever year, on Thanksgiving, I visit the fire stations and local Sheriff’s office to wish them and their families well and thank them for their service; I also provide them a catered meal. I am immensely grateful to them and all the first responsders that keep this community safe.
During this time, it has become customary for me to reflect on my good fortune as an American, a Southern Californian, and a proud member of my Los Angeles area community. The more I feel connected and, yes, grateful, the healthier and happier I am.
So, with that, I wish you all a wonderful Holiday Season. May you feel #gratitude this holiday and continue your journey of well being into 2020.
David Delrahim is a businessman, philanthropist and CEO of BLISS car wash.