Thanksgiving is just around the corner. We all get together for turkey and lots of great food, but do you practice giving thanks? After all that is the whole reason for the holiday.
Two simple words. There are two words that you can use to transform your happiness, your health and your success at anything in life. Those two words are "thank you," and research has shown us that grateful people are the healthiest, happiest, and most successful people. Being grateful reduces anxiety, allows us to get a higher quality of sleep, and fills our bodies with all of the good endorphins we need to live a better life.
Thankfully, gratitude is a like a muscle. And we can make it stronger by simply practicing it more often. Here are a few ways to put gratitude to use in your life now.
Create a Gratitude Journal
Dedicate a journal to gratitude or find a space in your current journal or daily planner to use to list out 5-10 things that you are grateful for. Do this early in the morning. Dig deep, and think beyond the obvious. Be thankful for your coffee mug or thankful for the pesky coworker who wants to chat every morning. Be grateful for your child's braces or the fact that your car started on the first try.
As your day goes on, you can read back over your list anytime you need a little boost of happiness or perspective.
Combine Gratitude with Physical Exercise
Take a walk or grab your yoga mat. While you exercise, think of all of the things you are grateful for in your life. When you combine physical exercise with gratitude, you give yourself a double hit of positivity and endorphins. The combination can be so powerful at shifting your perspective and flooding your body with natural antidepressants and feel good hormones.
Practice Gratitude at Meals
In the hustle and bustle of our daily routines, we lose sight of everything we have. It is easy to do, but we can bring it back by creating a routine of meal time thank yous. And it can be a really cool tradition to start in your family. All it takes is going around the table and having everyone list something they are grateful for. You will not only start the meal with a powerful dose of positivity, but you will get to know a little bit more about the people you are eating with.
Say Thank You
Say thank you often. Really often. For everything small to large. Write thank you notes. Say the words. Over and over again. You will not only change your own life, but you have the power to change the people around you. Feeling appreciated is a gift you can give to others that can energize them, engage them and pull them out of a funk. And it can be done with two words. So, thank your spouse. Thank your boss. Thank your children. Thank your mailman. Thank the cashier. Thank your spouse again.
Every day you have a choice in your mood. Choose to be positive. Infect other people with your positivity. Emotions are contagious. You will have an impact on yourself and everyone around you simply by changing your perspective.
Celebrate your Daily Wins
Every day something good happens. Even on the worst days when nothing seems to go according to plan, something good happened. But all of those good things easily get overshadowed by the things that didn't go as well.
But what if we celebrated and were grateful for those things that did go well in our days? What if we celebrated our daily wins and successes?
Every night before going to bed, think back over your day and think of what went well. Identify at least one thing - no matter how small. Maybe it was a great conversation, being on time to work or a person who helped you. What made you smile today?
Foster gratitude in your life and fuel a life full of success and significance!