Well, yesterday was Thanksgiving. The day we gather to remember what we are thankful for. We know that we should be thankful for what we have every day, yet it can be so easy to look at what is missing or challenging. If you take 30 second to Google “Gratitude and the Brain,” you will get dozens of articles that tell us an attitude of gratitude does a variety of things for us. Studies show it relieves stress and pain, reduces anxiety, improves sleep and increases energy. Some articles will actually tell us we can rewire our brains by practicing gratitude. Who wouldn’t want less stress and pain and more energy? So, what are some quick and easy ways to start moving toward an attitude of gratitude? How about trying these to start:
1- Start a gratitude journal. Aim to write down 1-3 things every day.
2- Notice the small beauties found around you in nature each day.
3- Compliment your friends, family and co-workers.
4- Say thank you for the small things you usually take for granted.
5- Re-read your gratitude journal when you are feeling down or having a hard day.
6- See growth opportunity in negative situations or mistakes; look for the positive angle.
7- Share a gratitude post on your social media regularly.
I know I have to consciously enter my days with the goal of being thankful and finding appreciation for the positive aspects of my personal situation. It is very important to realize that gratitude is not a comparison activity. It is showing gratefulness for what I have. My gratitude cannot be based on having more than some people as I can just as easily compare myself to others and end up being the one with less. I will focus on the good things I have received and take pleasure in the goodness the people around me provide in my life. Try it with me.