Nonetheless, today I find myself much more interested in eating healthier foods in healthier proportions, while removing the items that are not so healthy. I have become much more serious about exercise and staying more active. I have also come to understand the immense benefits associated with increasingly becoming “other” focused. This past year I am proud to say that I made very meaningful strides in all of these areas and have enjoyed the multitude of physical, emotional and relational benefits!
As 2016 draws to a close, I am sure you too will look into that rear-view mirror and reflect upon all that took place over the previous twelve months. My hope is that a smile comes to your face as you review the events of this past year! But of course, life wouldn’t be life if not for BOTH the trial and the triumph! Indeed, success is often made so much sweeter because we have undoubtedly experienced the bitter taste of defeat.
Speaking from a professional point of view, this past year marked another period of extraordinary growth and achievement for Bristol. By most any measure, the advancements were plentiful and in nearly all cases, noticeable!
However, above and beyond all of the key metrics that were surpassed this year, I am most pleased by our continued investment in our culture. Bristol’s mission is simply to Connect – hence the title of this newsletter! And while there are likely many ways in which we can connect, at Bristol we realize that in order to achieve the type of connections we know to be essential, massive doses of Vitamin G are required. But what is Vitamin G you ask?
A recent study conducted by the University of California Davis discovered some incredible beneficial attributes associated with Gratitude…. Vitamin G! They include:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved immune function
- More efficient sleep.
- Reduced lifetime risk for depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, and is a key resiliency factor in the prevention of suicide.
- Gratitude is associated with higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL), lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, both at rest and in the face of stress.
- A state of harmony in the nervous system and heart rate that is equated with less stress and mental clarity.
The study found that practicing gratitude also affects behavior and that grateful people engage in more exercise, have better dietary behaviors, are less likely to smoke and abuse alcohol, and have higher rates of medication adherence – factors that translate into a healthier and happier life. Further, by valuing and appreciating friends, oneself, situations and circumstances, it focuses the mind on what an individual already has rather than something that’s absent and is viewed as needed. According to Professor Robert Emmons, lead scientist in this study and a noted expert on the science of gratitude, “Gratitude blocks toxic emotions, such as envy, resentment, regret and depression, which can destroy our happiness. It’s impossible to feel envious and grateful at the same time.”
Gratitude is a very large and present element within the Bristol culture and it should come as no surprise that the more we invest in gratitude, individually and collectively, the more success we see on behalf of our associates as well as our relationships with our clients, supplier partners and one another. Indeed, the Bristol enterprise’s strength and success is directly correlated to the advances we have made in becoming “other” focused.
So, closing out a year also means preparing for the year that is to come. Planning, strategizing, analyzing….personally and professionally, are routine exercises for us all. Perhaps you are one who also considers the practice of making a resolution or two? In any case, it seems to me that upping our intake of Vitamin G would be a wise component of any plan for the next twelve months and beyond!
On behalf of the entire Bristol team stationed in all corners of the globe, please know how grateful we are for the connection we share with you! We remain committed to strengthening our relationships, due in part largely to the embracing of our culture of Connecting, our desire to continue to become “other” focused, and our routine intake of Vitamin G!