(Think Positive Monday: sharing tips and keeping me in line to live a happier and more positive life)
If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?
What better week than the week of Thanksgiving to talk about gratitude?
There are countless studies showing that simply being grateful for what we have as well as showing gratitude towards others leads to overall happiness.
This week and every week I try to pause and think about all the things I am grateful for. The big (a nice home, good health, a job, a loving family) and the small (flavored coffee, cheese, my best friend’s laugh, the way Maggie greets me when I come home). Sure, sometimes I forget and sometimes I’m just too stressed, upset, or plain selfish to be grateful every day. This needs to stop.
By being grateful every day we are being more mindful, in the moment, lowering stress, connecting with others on a positive level, and generally leading a happier life.
By looking for new things to be grateful for each day (even when things aren’t picture perfect) we are living a more full life, noticing how colorful and vibrant the little parts of each of our days really can be. Being thankful during hard times can help us move forward, adjust, or heal. By being grateful to our friends and family we showing them respect and love as well as encouraging them to continue acts of kindness to others. Both create a firm foundation for strong friendships. Grateful people are more inclined to do kind acts and give back to their community. Finally, it is hard to be negative when your mind is full of grateful thoughts.
So after the last of the turkey leftovers are eaten and the scent of pumpkin is replaced by pine needles, I’m not going to stop being grateful. Some tips on fostering a grateful mind: pause a minute before you go to sleep to think of what you are grateful for today, start a gratitude journal, or tell a different friend each day why you are grateful for them.
Don’t save gratitude for a special occasion or say something like, “I’ll be grateful once I get this promotion”. If you can’t be grateful for the present what kind of life are you living? Gratitude needs to happen consistently, like a vitamin you take daily. Try out an attitude of gratitude and see how your temperament and relationships change. What do you have to lose?