Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, your credit card is probably still smoking from all the bargain shopping, and we’re all moving ahead to more holiday cheer.  While this is generally the season we associate with “gratitude,” I’m trying to keep that feeling a little longer than just these few days.  (I’d like to think “forever” but, you know how successful long-term commitments can be. ☹)

I just received an email from a friend who’s taken a slightly different approach, and I may try this too.  Just thought I’d share it with you:  Purposeful Gratitude.  I sincerely hope you all enjoyed your table of delicious turkey and stuffing, football, and parades, along with family and good friends, but we all know that the holiday is way more than that.  It’s a day to be intentional with our thanks and appreciation.

How to be purposefully grateful every day?

Appreciate the little things:  Some days it’s pretty easy to be grateful:  the sun is shining, the kids are healthy, your To-Do list seems almost manageable.  If it’s not one of those days and everything is upside down, try to take a minute to appreciate the little things, and you just might find that your day turns out better than you expected.

Look on the bright side:  Look for ways to be grateful when you’re faced with challenges.  Gratitude will change your mindset and help you be more optimistic.

Count Your Blessings:  Your brain needs about eight weeks of practicing gratitude before it begins to reflect greater happiness.  Write down three to five things you’re grateful for daily.  If you’re not sure what to write, answer these questions:

  • What are you thankful for right now? What makes you happy?
  • Who are three people you’re grateful to in your life?
  • What is something you tend to take for granted that you’re thankful for?

Volunteer.   When you help others, you just naturally feel happier and more satisfied.  Lend a hand to someone who may be having a difficult time.  Look for opportunities to provide joy.

Show appreciation.  Write a note to someone who’s been a good influence on your life and let them know how much they mean to you.  Think how you’d treasure that!

Count Your Blessings with a Gratitude Journal.  A gratitude journal keeps track of the things you’re grateful for, and when you’re struggling to remember those blessings, it’s a record right in front of you in your own handwriting.  Make a point to write in your journal at least once or twice a week.

I’ve used the Gratitude Jar off and on for many years.  I’m going to unbury it and try again, because it really does work.  I know the Gratitude Journal works too, so try them both and let me know what you like best.

Until next time . . . .



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