With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, you have probably seen a lot of people posting on Facebook or other social media sites this month about what they are thankful for.
We love this annual practice and the idea of taking a moment of time out to appreciate the truly good things in your life. Even if you are going through a difficult time, this can be a valuable way to help you appreciate what you do have.
But why limit this practice to the end of November? Here are a few ways you can strive to practice thankfulness throughout the year.
1. Start a Gratitude Journal
If you are grasping for gift ideas for yourself, consider requesting a diary you can turn into your gratitude journal. The idea is to write down something every day that you are thankful for, but you can interpret this however you like.
Some people like to meditate on what they’re grateful for. Others prefer a bullet journal approach, simply listing an item each day. Whatever you decide, adopting this practice forces you to take at least a few minutes each day or night to reflect on your blessings. And they don’t have to be big ones — some days you may find you were most thankful for dessert.
2. Incorporate Your Family in the Practice
Try starting dinners with a gratitude session. Each person around the table lists one thing they were grateful for that day as you dish out the night’s food. You will learn a great deal more about your loved ones when you hear their answers — and you will become accustomed to looking for the highlights of your day rather than dwelling on the lowlights.
3. Find an Accountability Partner
It can be difficult to stick with anything, from a new exercise routine to a better diet, when you don’t have accountability. Find someone — a spouse, a friend, a work acquaintance — who also wants to practice greater thankfulness, and check in with each other to stay on track. Maybe that means starting a text chain where you give thanks, or maybe it’s just talking over a quick coffee in the office kitchen.
4. Tell Others You Are Thankful for Them
It never gets old to hear someone voice their appreciation. Try to do it to others as much as possible. You may become more thankful as you voice what you love.
5. Change Your Approach Frequently
Keeping any new practice fresh and relevant can be challenging. If you find you aren’t a journal type of person or you eat too many family meals in the car on the way to sports practices to fully share your thankfulness, mix things up to find something that does work for you.
We’re all different, and the same things don’t work for every person. And that diversity is, yes, yet another thing to be thankful for!