Life can be hard. Perhaps you’ve had a hard week, month or even year. Maybe right now you’re overwhelmed, stressed or moving from one crisis to another. So often we can be overwhelmed by life. However, gratitude, or being thankful, can help bring context and a fuller perspective to our lives. Gratitude is a counterbalance to stress and worry. Gratitude reminds us that even in the midst of difficulties and storms in life, that there is good and we have much to be thankful for. Gratitude helps us refocus on what is truly important in our lives.
Thanksgiving is a good time of the year to remind us of the power of gratitude. However, don’t fall in the trap of just being thankful once a year. Gratitude is a powerful force in our life any time of the year! So how do we get better at being grateful and being reminded of what is most important?
To develop an attitude of gratitude we don’t just try to be more positive or think better. Many think that our attitude drives our behavior and actions. And that may be true. However, I would suggest that our behavior and actions also drive our attitude. Here are some specific actions you can practice this week to develop an attitude of gratitude:
1. Develop a List – Take 10 minutes and write down everything you are thankful for. Every relationship, life experience, possession, aspect of your personality, and anything else you can think of.
2. Thank You Notes – This week write notes to three people and identify one specific thing you want to thank them for. If you have trouble thinking of who and what to write, even consider writing someone from your past. Everyone loves receiving hand written notes!
3. Random Act of Kindness – Nothing is better at getting our mind off of ourselves and away from self-pity then doing something generous for someone else. Surprise a stranger with an act of kindness. I promise this will help your attitude move towards gratitude and renew your spirit.
Challenge: Pick one of the above actions to do this week: develop a list of the things you are thankful for, write three thank-you notes, or do a random act of kindness for a stranger.
Question: What are you most thankful for right now in your life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.