Gratitude turns what we have into enough, and as Melody Beattie said,
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Thanksgiving tends to turn our thoughts and hearts to gratitude. We pause, reflect, and give thanks for the goodness we often overlook. We feel warm and happy inside and go out the next day with a smile. Then, all too soon, we forget. We become impatient with the store clerk, forgetting that many have no means to shop; we become irritated with the food service person, forgetting that many have no food; we become frustrated with family and friends, forgetting that many are all alone.
The answer, of course, rests in the art of cultivating an attitude of gratitude all year long. It’s a process, and life’s little glitches tend to be a distraction, but it’s an art that anyone can master. The following tips will help.
Journal your gratitude: Take 5 min each morning or evening – or both – to pause, meditate, and write down 3 things you are thankful for, from a baby’s smile to the fact that the highway department finally patched that pothole at the corner.
Share your gratitude: Tell others what made you smile today. Not only will your gratitude grow, but it will spread into their life as well. Show your appreciation for the goodness in your life by helping others, sharing from your abundance, and volunteering.
Say thanks: Make a habit of expressing your appreciation to others for the little things we take for granted. Be specific in your thanks, such as “I really appreciated the time you spent helping me with . . . I couldn’t have met my deadline without you.” Or, “I appreciate your talent for teaching. The way you explained . . . made it easy to understand. Thanks for your input to the team.”
Write it: Take time to write a note to someone who made an impact in your life. Saying thanks makes a difference. Writing a personal thank you can change a life. Many a note has been read, saved, and reread multiple times.
Cultivate gratitude in others: Smile. Be present in conversation. Make eye contact and be an active listener. Take time to notice things and compliment them. Congratulate them on their achievements – including the promotion that you were hoping to earn. If you receive exemplary service, thank them and then tell their boss.
Sure, everyone spends a little more time being thankful on Thanksgiving, but being intentional about gratitude all year long makes a difference in others and in yourself. In fact, studies show that grateful people tend to have more energy, stronger immune systems, increased life satisfaction, and deeper, closer relationships. They are less stressed, more productive and find it easier to solve problems. Try it.
Happy Thanksgiving from the staff at Lingo – The Language of On-Demand Solutions