Keep A Gratitude Attitude After Thanksgiving

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I couldn’t miss writing a post about gratitude. Gratitude has several meanings. Depending on the context, gratitude can be as simple as feeling thankful for receiving a gift or as large as a virtue to strive for every day. Several studies have indicated that people who practice gratitude every day through journaling, expressing thanks, and using affirmations have a higher sense of wellbeing, improved heart health and immune function, and satisfaction in life.

Gratitude Journal_Unsplash-701889 Gabrielle Cole
Journaling can be a very helpful way to start a practice of gratitude. You can use an actual journal or download an app. Either way, you don’t need to go overboard. Start by writing 1-2 times a weeks. (Photo by Gabrielle Cole)

Here are three ways you can practice gratitude and boost your own wellbeing:

Appreciate Yourself
When you express gratitude, you are probably extending it towards others. How often do you appreciate yourself and the gifts you offer to this world? People who practice gratitude tend to center this attribute on themselves by giving thanks for such things as accomplishing daily chores, having functioning bodies, or even living one more day. Personal gratitude practice creates a sense of optimism, empathy, and a positive outlook and behaviors. It also tends to reduce hopelessness, anxiety, and other self-esteem issues.

Thank Someone Important To You
In the field of psychology, gratitude is considered to be one of the foundational pieces that helps to strengthen, create, and stabilize relationships. When you practice consistent gratitude in your relationships—personal or professional—you create more authentic and positive relationships. The gratitude attitude can help you observe and admire others’ attributes, actions, and intent, which may lead to more patience, acceptance, and empathy on your part. Once you have discovered something that you appreciate in someone else, make sure to communicate your gratitude through words, actions, gifts, or even your presence.

Find The Beauty Around You
A sense of appreciation can connect you to the world around you. By practicing gratitude in your daily life, you will start noticing flowers blooming at the end of the street, the colors of the sky changing, or the genuine smile of a store cashier greeting you. Bringing such awareness may even inspire you to help solve societal and environmental issues.

Ready to practice gratitude?

  • Start by bringing your awareness to yourself, others, and your surroundings.
  • Notice all the positivity they bring to your life and truly sit with that experience and emotion.
  • Make an attempt to show gratitude. Gratitude needs expressing. Think about ways you want to show your appreciation: give yourself a small reward, write a thank you note to your loved ones, plant some trees, or give your time and resources to a cause.
  • Take small steps. It can be daunting to be constantly appreciative in the beginning, but take your time with it. A gratitude attitude is a way of living—the more you do it, the easier it gets.
  • Find ways to practice gratitude as a family.

My hope is that during this time of festivities, you take time to truly feel and express gratitude for yourself, and for all the things and people who have helped in nurturing, sustaining, and flourishing your life.

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