On any list of “How to Be Happy” or “The Secrets of Happy People”, “gratitude” is always one of the key elements.
It’s no big secret. Just expressing gratitude daily in some way, shape or form can usually improve our attitude and subsequently improve our lives.
While gratitude should be something we practice naturally all year long, we are reminded to be grateful especially around this time of year.
I looked back to a blog I did a few years ago and thought it would be timely to re-post some of my thoughts as we get closer to Thanksgiving, the Christmas holidays and the end of another year.
I hope my words encourage you to begin your own gratitude practice.
As I looked back over this last year, actually, the last few years, the most important lesson I have learned is that I need to be grateful for the things I have and even the things I might not have (Garth Brooks has a great song called “Thank God for Unanswered Prayers”), to stop and think about what I am grateful for, to realize that I am blessed and to be open to receiving as well.
Sometimes we are so busy worrying about what we don’t have that we forget to be grateful for what we do have. We struggle trying to figure out how to “be happier” – is it by getting more “stuff”, drastically changing our lives, moving to another country? Really, it’s not that hard.
If I can give you one place to start it would be to JUST BE GRATEFUL!
Be grateful for your blessings and for the little things that happen every day.
Did someone hold the door open for you?
Did you score a great parking space?
Were you able to arrange your schedule so you could make your yoga class?
Did someone smile at you today?
You can express your gratitude by saying thank you, paying it forward or sending an old-fashioned note to someone that helped you at some point in your life. Let them know that you are grateful for their friendship, guidance, mentor ship, jokes, recipes, etc.
Start a gratitude journal. Each night take a few minutes to write down things that happened during your day that you are grateful for. On those days when you might not be feeling so positive, go back to that journal and remind yourself of all your blessings.
Another idea that I love is to create a gratitude jar. Any jar will do, the bigger the better. As the year moves along, write down things you are grateful for or ways you feel blessed and toss them in the jar. At the end of the year, empty out your jar and go through your slips one by one. You will literally be counting your blessings.
So what’s in MY gratitude jar? I can’t give away all my secrets. That sounds like a great idea for another blog. Stay tuned.
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