November is a month of reflection and with Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, it is often a time to express thanks for all of the blessings in our lives. Through gratitude, we accept the good in all. Counting our blessings brings balance to those parts of us that are disconnected. Gratitude changes our attitude and helps us to stop feeling victimized by life. If you are feeling down, hopeless, or worried, you can bring your life back into balance simply by practicing gratitude.
Why should that be? Why should the simple act of thinking about who and what you are grateful for make such a big difference in your life?
Just a few reasons:
- It reminds you of the positive things in your life. It makes you happy about the people in your life, whether they’re loved ones or just a stranger you met who was kind to you in some ways.
- It turns bad things into good things. Having relationship problems? Be grateful you have a relationship. Be grateful you have challenges that you can learn from and that help you to learn. Be thankful they make you a stronger person.
- It reminds you of what’s important. It’s hard to complain about the little things when you give thanks that your loved ones are alive and healthy. It’s hard to get stressed out over paying bills when you are grateful there is enough food in your fridge.
- It reminds you to thank others. The simple act of saying “thank you” to someone can make a big difference in that person’s life. Calling them, texting them, stopping by to say thank you . . . just taking a minute to tell them why you are grateful for them is important to them. People like being appreciated! It’s so easy to make someone else happy. And making someone else happy in return will make you happy.
Living a life of gratitude is easy. Simple acts of gratitude don’t cost you much, but they can make a huge difference.
If you want to give practicing gratitude a try, here are some ideas:
- Morning gratitude session. Take 2-3 minutes each morning to give thanks, to whoever or whatever you’re grateful for. Don’t forget to include yourself! You don’t have to do anything, other than close your eyes and silently give thanks. This can make a huge difference.
- Say thank you. Whenever someone does something kind for you, however small, always try to remember to say thank you. And really mean it.
- Give thanks for “negative” things in your life. There’s always two ways to look at something. Many times we think of something as negative. But the same thing can be looked at in a more positive way. Giving thanks for those things is a great way to remind yourself that there is good in just about everything and that nothing happens without a reason.
- Learn a gratitude prayer. There are many prayers, religious or not, that can remind you to be grateful. Search the internet and find one that resonates with you and print it out, or write your own. If you’re not religious, it doesn’t need to include the concept of God.
Love expressed as gratitude demonstrates itself in small acts of kindness and connects us to each other and to ourselves. What accomplishments can you be grateful for? I’d love to hear your comments.