I recently learned November is National Gratitude Month. I’m very fond of this practice and started to implement it in my life, so I thought I would share what I know and have experienced.
Prior to a few months ago, I thought the practice of gratitude meant each day writing down a few things you’re thankful for like family, friends, employment, life, etc. What I know now is that expressing gratitude can be one of the most rewarding and fundamentally impactful practices you can implement in your life. It can range from thanking a random person for opening the door for you, waking up each morning appreciative of that breath, thanking your parents and loved ones, or praying and giving thanks to your creator for all blessings. No matter who you are or where you are, there is always something to be grateful for.
It has been proven that grateful people on average tend to be less stressed, happier, more physically fit, and maintain more satisfying professional and personal relationships. That sounds fantastic, but how do we become one of those people? Does it take months or years? I don’t believe there is a specific timeframe. It’s a mindset shift. So how do we start?
Below are a few things I do as well as other tips:
- Define what you are grateful for. I think it says a lot about where your mindset is now. If you can’t think of anything or there are only a few things, maybe you need to reevaluate what’s going on and how to fix it.
- Say it out loud. I tend to think about things and I forget to say it or I put it off. If you think of someone you’re grateful for, call or text them at that very moment. You never know how much you can change someone’s day, whether you know them or not.
- Write it down. Some people keep a journal, others use post-its. Whatever the medium is, just get it out of your mind. Draw pictures or make a video. Put the thought in motion.
- Listen. You can learn a lot about people if you just take the time to listen. And, you can learn a lot about yourself if you listen to your inner voice. By intently listening to someone, you will convey your consideration and appreciation for what they’re saying.
- Practice self-gratitude. Be grateful for yourself, thank yourself, for being you. There is no one else like you. You are special. We live in a world where it’s so easy to think less of oneself due to social media, overall negativity, etc. Look in the mirror and tell yourself why you’re awesome.
These are just a few ideas to help you get started. I hope you find what works for you and start your practice. Your future self will thank you.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
— Oprah Winfrey
~ Diana Sailler