“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” - Davide Steindl-Rast, American Monk & Author

As we enter this season of Thanksgiving we pause to focus on the power of gratitude. There is powerful science behind the concept that gratitude has many benefits and those who practice it lead healthier lives.

According to study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis, people who wrote down why they were grateful every day for 10 weeks were more optimistic, felt better about their lives, exercised more, and had fewer trips to the doctor than a group of people who only wrote down their daily worries and grips. Gratitude is something we can all practice, there are no certifications, licenses, status, or education needed, EVERYONE can practice gratitude.

Gratitude can even make a frightening, hairy situation, a lot more enjoyable as our President & CEO Jill Vitale-Aussem shares in her annual Thanksgiving message.


If you’re finding it hard in today’s world to practice an attitude of gratitude, here are a few tips:
1. Start your day by asking yourself, “What can I be grateful for today?”
2. As you are having dinner or wrapping up your day, tell someone three things that happened during your day that you were grateful for.
3. Keep a journal, and before going to bed, write down what made you grateful today.
4. Give it away, tell people in your life that you are grateful/thankful for them – share how they inspired you.
5. Meditate and observe grateful thoughts during your practice.

And in keeping with our own best advice, we want to say Thank You to everyone in our CLC-Cappella family, Thank you to the residents, team members and families who together create a beautiful community where aging is honored and celebrated. Happy Thanksgiving!


“Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr., Author


About the Author

Jill Vitale-Aussem

Jill Vitale-Aussem serves as President & CEO of Christian Living Communities, a Colorado-based, not-for-profit, faith-based organization serving more than 3,000 older adults and their families through its 23 owned and managed communities located in six states as well as its services of adult day, home care and consulting. Jill has over twenty years of experience leading nursing homes, assisted living and life plan communities. Prior to joining Christian Living Communities, she served as President and CEO of The Eden Alternative, an international non-profit organization focused on creating quality of life for older people and their care partners. She is a licensed nursing home administrator and a Reframing Aging facilitator.

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