Thanksgiving is fast approaching. How about we hit the pause button on all the chatter and refocus our attention on the many things to be grateful for?
Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
Daily journaling can be difficult to maintain. Can you journal for seven days? In one week, you will have thirty-five items to choose from as you go around the Thanksgiving dinner table and share something you are thankful for.
The challenge: For the next seven days, write down five new things you are grateful for that day.
Don’t have a journal? I bet you do have paper and pens around the house. Write each entry on a separate sheet of paper. Look in the cupboard and find a jar, mug or glass to keep them in.
You are reading this on a computer or phone. Both have a Notes app. you can use to record your thoughts. No excuses for not doing this.
Be Very Specific
I am grateful for my spouse.
I am grateful for the daily text my spouse sends me to let me know he/she is thinking of me. It brings a smile to my face and warms my heart.
I am grateful for my children/grandchildren.
I am grateful for the way Cindy snuggles up with me as we read books together.
Benefits of Gratitude
Many studies have been conducted on the benefits of gratitude. The following was excerpted from the Harvard Mental Health Letter originally published November 2011. In Praise of Gratitude: Expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better. More details and resources can be found in: Harvard Health Newsletter
Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.
Those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
After a week-long assignment to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had never been properly thanked for his or her kindness, participants (in the study) immediately exhibited a huge increase in happiness scores. This impact was greater than that from any other intervention, with benefits lasting for a month.