I think Thanksgiving gets the shaft. It is so often overlooked by Christmas and I think it is an awesome holiday. You get together with family, eat large quantities of food with no judgment, and you get to focus on what you’re thankful for.
Did you know being grateful can make you feel happier?
When you are grateful it opens you up to feel more positive emotions, when you feel more positive emotions, you act from a place of love and happiness, and then you end up being happy and content with what you have.
This isn’t to say that if you are grateful that you won’t ever feel negative emotions because inevitably things will happen in life and you will feel negatively about it, which is fine. What I am saying is that if you learn to be grateful you start seeing things in a more positive light and when you can see things in a positive light you are able to see your options and are able to problem solve a little better.
I’ve put together four different things you can do to practice gratitude.
Four Ways To
1 Gratitude Journal- I never considered myself a journaler. Is that even a word? It feels like it should be, but I’m pretty sure I just coined it, anyway, my journal writing felt bland and just a list of things I did that day, so I would get bored with it and quit writing. However, over the last few years I have been a lot more consistent with writing. I think you could officially call me a journaler now.
In my journal I may set an intention of how I am going to be more grateful that day or something that I am already grateful for. I don’t do that every day, but if it is something you want to focus on, that is a great place to do it.
You can also have a family gratitude journal. I think this is a fun idea. A little book where people can write, or draw pictures, of things that they are grateful for. It would be such a treasure to look back over it when you’re old and grey and you could see all the silly things your kids put in it. Also, when you’re having a bad day it could help you to find some things to be grateful for to help you to feel a little bit better.
2 Thank You Notes-I love getting thank you notes. I have some that have been so heartfelt that I have even kept them. I don’t think you understand how big that is because I don’t keep many things. When in doubt, throw it out is my motto. But I have received some messages of little things that I did that I didn’t know made such a big impact on someone else.
When you write one to other people, you’ll probably never know what it meant to them, but it will help you to focus on the nice things that they did for you. And it’s a lovely thing when you can see the beauty in other people.
3 Serve Others-I use to tell my kids that if they ever felt sad to get out and serve someone. What a great way to be content with your lot in life when you stop thinking about yourself and think about someone else.
It could be as simple as making cookies for a neighbor, making dinner for someone who just had a baby, watching someone’s kids so they can run some errands.
There are so many organizations that need help where you could serve as well. There is an app called Just Serve that will have service opportunities in your area.
4 Tell people what you appreciate about them-This is just like writing a thank you note, but doing it live. I love talking to people, so I really enjoy this, but if you’re more introverted, pick something that you feel more comfortable with.
One of my goals in life is to live a high quality life, and by being grateful I feel like that is one of the ways that I can achieve my goal.