School, work, and other important commitments fill up our schedules and turn days into weeks, and in a blink of an eye, weeks into years. We can sometimes forget to stop and appreciate all of the experiences we have. Luckily, November never fails to remind us to be thankful for something. Whether it’s family and friends, coffee or sports, Thanksgiving is always the one day out of the year that most people are reminded to be thankful for something or someone.
But what happens when Thanksgiving day comes to an end? When family members leave to go back home and work and/or school resumes the following day, what happens to our gratitude?
I know all too well that usually after Thanksgiving our routines once again take over, and the cycle of our busy lives continue, but we don’t have to set aside time for gratitude and thanks just for November.
I want to challenge all of you to treat every month like November.
With each coming month, find time to think about the people who are important to you.Think about the things in your life that you are thankful for, whether it’s your parents, your dog, or your car. It is so important that we take time to reflect on the things that make our lives meaningful and make us feel meaningful.
Here are a list of ways we can express gratitude in our lives…
- Directly to another person through conversation, letters, or phone calls
- Notice things or people that are taken for granted
- Through art, music, photography, sports, etc.
- Introduce something you love or enjoy doing with someone else (my favorite way to express gratitude)
- Simply think and reflect on your blessings / people you are thankful for
- Create a list of things / people you are thankful for and look over it
Not a lot of people realize that showing gratitude has many positive benefits in our lives. Being grateful may not cause all these good things listed below but there have been several studies in positive psychology that prove that by showing gratitude we are…
- Happier, more energetic and experience more positive emotions
- More helpful, forgiving, and empathetic
- Less depressed, anxious, and lonely
- More satisfied with our lives
- Feeling positive boosts in our health and well being (less headaches, acne, coughing)
- Getting more hours of sleep
By definition, the practice of “gratitude involves a focus on the present moment, on appreciating your life as it is today and what has made it so.”
I know that I am going to be showing much more gratitude in my life from here on out. What about you?
Source – Lyubomirsky, Sonjia. The How of Happiness. New York: The Penguin Press, 2007. Print.