November is here, the month of thankfulness. Given the rollercoaster of a year 2020 has been for many people, it could be difficult to practice gratitude. No matter what the circumstances are, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Look for small measures of gratitude in your daily life, and you’ll be more prompt to reach it.
What is gratitude you may ask? By definition, it is the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful. Practicing gratitude keeps you rooted. Remember where you once were, and how far you’ve come. Keep that glass half full, rather than half empty.
Thinking negatively leaves you feeling discouraged, bitter or hopeless. Positive thoughts make you feel hopeful, encouraged and empowered. Be mindful, and change your perspective.
“I really don’t want to go to work today. I have so much to do,” becomes “I get to go to work and earn my paycheck today.”
Take the time each day to think of at least one person and one thing you are thankful for. Acknowledging this person and thing can give more meaning to your day. Start out on a positive note, and let that carry you into the right mindset. Try not to think of the same person or thing too frequently. Expanding your list makes you more grateful and appreciative of others and the world.
For whom you keep in your thoughts, let it be known that you are thankful for them. It doesn’t take much to make someone else’s day. Kind words go a long way. Say it in person, give them a call or send a handwritten letter. A step further would be to give a small gift. Maybe a neighbor helped you clean the gutters, and you thank them by gifting a bottle of wine.
Based on your relationship with the person, determine the best course of action to express gratitude. It not only attracts positive people into your life, it actually fosters the support you receive from others. If you help someone going through a difficult time by showing them the light, you are displaying love. And gratitude is a form of love.
Often times people may overlook the small things they do in a day. Take the time to reflect on yourself, and acknowledge the positive ideas or actions you are sharing with the world. Perhaps you are a great listener and are willing to lend an ear whenever someone needs it. Think of how you can continue to do that frequently.
You can also be grateful to yourself by accomplishing a long list of to-do items in one day. A sense of pride never hurts, and some of those items may have indirectly benefited someone else. For example, cleaning your house makes a pleasant atmosphere for the whole family.
If the shutdown has taught anything, it’s to be grateful for your house, family and freedom. During this time of year, food pantries get more volunteers and donations than the rest of the year. The giving season is great, but why do people only do so this time of year? Remember the little things taken for granted like running water, a warm meal, people who surround you with love, good health, and a bed to sleep on.
Take the time to put things into perspective all year round, not just the giving season. Teach others to practice gratitude regularly. Be thankful for what you do have, and focus less on what you don’t.
Featured Image: Miguel Bautista on Unsplash