In the US, we recently celebrated Thanksgiving, a national holiday that celebrates the blessings of the past year. (In America, the celebration commemorates the harvest feast celebrated by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people that took place in 1621.) The Thanksgiving holiday is a celebration of family time together, good food, gratitude, and of course, football.
As I celebrated Thanksgiving with my family this year, it got me thinking about gratitude – being thankful, being ready to show appreciation and to return kindness. Of course, it is meaningful to have a national holiday to focus on our blessings. But wouldn’t it be helpful if we focused on our blessings every day of the year? And what if we consciously expressed our gratitude every day of the year? How would that shift our mindset? Our interaction with others? What impact would it have on our health?
Benefits of Gratitude
There is an abundance of research on the benefits of gratitude. Practicing gratitude on a regular basis can:
- Ease anxiety, depression, and toxic emotions
- Improve your mood
- Foster positive feelings
- Contribute to a sense of well-being
- Improve your health
- Help you deal with adversity
- Build stronger relationships
- Make you happier
How to Practice Gratitude
Practicing gratitude does not have to be hard or take an abundance of time out of your day. Here are a few simple things you can incorporate into your day to practice gratitude:
- Keep a Gratitude Journal – Take a few minutes every day and write down what you are grateful for. It can be as simple as a safe drive to work, a relaxing cup of tea, a lovely sunset, or a kind word from a co-worker, spouse, or child. Keep it simple.
- Write a positive thought – Write a positive thought on a post-it note, or in your daily calendar, or use a dry-erase marker and write on your mirror. Write a positive thought about yourself or your family, friends, or work.
- Take a walk outdoors – Take a walk and enjoy the sounds of nature. Turn off your phone, or headset. Enjoy the weather, the sounds, and nature. Be grateful for the things you see, smell, hear, and feel.
- Tell others you are grateful for them – Tell your family, friends, loved ones, and colleagues you are grateful they are part of your life.
- Minimize your negative thoughts – Mind your mind. Check your thoughts. Try to transform negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Thoughts do become things. Be grateful for your positive thoughts. This helps your mindset transition to more positivity.
Every day is a blessing. There are many small things in your daily life for which you can be grateful. Embracing gratitude every day impacts you as an individual. When you are better, your business benefits!