With Thanksgiving coming next week, I’ve been thinking about a lot about gratitude. I want to be a person who is known for her attitude of gratitude. But, that’s easier said than done, right? We live in a time where it is becoming easier to be self-sufficient and also selfish. As we strive to do things on our own, we should not forget to thank those who helped us get where we were.
That’s one of those things that sounds good, and we know it is right, but something we don’t put into practice as we should. I can admit that there are many days when I focus more on the negative than the positive. I see the thorns instead of the roses.
And, it is time to stop. I want to be a person that strives to live out Thanksgiving not only on the holiday but throughout the year. I want to extend gratitude and thankfulness to others and to pass this trait on to my kids.
Here are just a few of the things I plan to do to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
Write it down.
Let’s bring back the practice of writing thank you notes. Writing a thank you note forces you to think about what someone else has done for (or given) you. This practice inspires gratitude. While there are all sorts of etiquette rules about formal thank you notes, I say let’s simple embrace writing someone a simple thank you note – even if it is a quick thank you on a post-it note.
Additionally, try keeping a gratitude journal. Rather than writing about the various things that happen in your day, a gratitude journal is a place where you record the things you are grateful for. This is another great way to inspire grateful hearts.
Say it aloud.
The easiest way to become known as a grateful person is to express thanks aloud! By simply saying, “Thank you” when it is deserved, you can make a big difference. Your thank you may be just what the person needs to hear, and it will help you to focus on others instead of yourself.
Give and serve.
We all take things for granted. Maybe the best way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude is to serve those less fortunate. In doing so, we will see how much we have to be thankful for. During the holiday season, there are numerous ways to give back in your local communities.
Make it part of your routine.
Add intentional moments of gratitude to your daily routine. This will look different for everyone. Some women use a time of meditation or prayer to reflect on the things they are thankful for in their lives. Others take time to name something they are thankful for with their families around the dinner table. There are also women who make finding gratitude a part of their daily exercise routine by thinking on the things they are grateful for motivation. The point is to make it normal and natural to reflect on the things you have to be thankful for each day.
Create a gratitude jar.
For the Pinterest-crowd, you can create a gratitude jar. A gratitude jar is simply a jar that you fill throughout the year with written tokens of gratitude. For instance, some women place a small notepad and a pen next to a jar. Then, they write down something they are grateful for and drop it in the jar whenever the mood hits. At the end of the year, you can dump the contents and reflect on the many reasons you are grateful.
For those of you who would rather buy a gratitude jar, you can purchase Gratitude Glass Jars which were named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2017. In addition to the beautiful jars, they come with 365 gratitude cards.