By Sarah Wylde
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I thought the perfect topic to cover in this week’s post would be about being grateful and expressing gratitude. Our thoughts and emotions are quite powerful, perhaps more than we realize. So, this year, when the time comes to go around your dinner table to give thanks, make the conscious decision to say not only what you are thankful for, but express gratitude to someone there as well.
What exactly is gratitude? Well, to get technical for a moment, the word comes from the Latin origin gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. It’s the feeling of appreciation and seeing things on the positive side of life. Our glass is half full, not half empty, and you shift your perspective of how you choose to see the world. Every day you have the option of wanting to be grateful and express gratitude. Positivity does make a difference.
With the way the world is and all the tragedies we see on the news, it can be easy to lose perspective on what we have in our lives that we can be grateful for. Recognizing that you have something to be thankful for, even during hardships, cultivates resilience and strength. Those who express gratitude experience more empathy, increased self-esteem, lessen depression, and anxiety, plus get rid of multiple toxic emotions. We all hold the ability to encourage and express gratitude, and that is needed more and more each day.
Ways to work it into our daily lives:
- Daily gratitude journaling. Write a few sentences or bullet points about what you are grateful for each day.
- Write thank-you notes. In an extremely technology-driven time, it is always nice to get physical mail that is not a bill. Write a friend or family member a letter expressing appreciation for their impact on your life.
- Pray. You can use prayer to express gratitude.
- Meditate. Mindful meditation has you focusing on the moment. You can focus on the moment, or you can focus on a single word like “peace, hope, gratitude.”
- Actually, count your blessings. Once a week or month, sit down with a piece of paper or in your journal and list five things that happened in your life that you are grateful for.
- Create a gratitude board. Put it up on a paper, bulletin, or whiteboard. Make it a physical reminder of what you are grateful for. There can be pictures of your family, friends, pets, etc.
Basically, each day appreciate and be grateful for what you have not what you don’t have.
Until next time!