I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This week many of my readers will celebrate Thanksgiving.
So I thought it would be a good time to share a handful of my favorite tips for making thankfulness a daily part of life.
Because being thankful for what you have is one of the simplest and easiest ways to lift your mood. To give your motivation a jolt. And to live a happier life.
No matter who you are or where you live in the world.
1. Pause and look around yourself.
A simple first step to being more thankful is to pause during your day and ask yourself these two questions:
- What are 3 things I can be thankful for in my life today?
- Who are 3 people I can be thankful to have in my life and why?
If you don’t come up with 3 people and 3 things each day then that is OK. One thing or person is great too.
But if you can, try to not repeat yourself too often. Instead, think of more people and things to be grateful for to, day by day, expand your thankful view of your world.
2. Express your thankfulness.
Don’t stop at just coming up with people for whom you are grateful to have in your life.
Take a few seconds to tell them about it. This will make their lives happier. And as their faces light up with a smile you’ll feel happier too.
Now, that gratitude could just be a small sentence. But it can have a big impact on someone’s day, week or even life.
So be sure to make the small effort to express it.
3. Look towards yourself too.
It is not only things that are important. Or other people.
You are important and valuable too.
So appreciate that.
What are 3 things I can be thankful for about myself?
It could be that you were a good sister during a crisis last week. It could be that you finally got done with that boring or difficult task you had been procrastinating on.
Your self-gratitude does not have to be all about achievements. You can simply be thankful for your good sense of humor. Or the help you give your friends and family by being a good listener from time to time.
And the thankfulness doesn’t have to be about big things either. It could simply be about the fact that you floss for a couple of minutes in the morning.
4. Be thankful for the things you may take for granted.
The things we get very used to having can become things we take for granted. But they are not things everyone in the world has access to.
A few such things that I like to reflect upon and feel very thankful for having are:
- A roof over my head and a warm home.
- Plenty of drinkable water.
- That I don’t have to go hungry.
- Being able to enjoy the small and free pleasures of life.
- Access to the internet so that I can learn and connect with people.
I have found that being grateful for things like these are especially helpful to zoom out and to put my situation in perspective when I am going through a tough time in life.
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5. Start or end your day with thankfulness.
To make thankfulness into a habit that sticks find a regular time for it in your day.
For example, you can start your day in a good way by finding 3 things to be grateful for about yourself over breakfast.
Or you can take a few minutes in the evening, just before going to bed, to use a journal to write down 3 things you are grateful for about your day.
Try a tiny time commitment like one of these and see what impact it has on your life.