Since the holiday Thanksgiving is always in the month of November,
what a perfect time to reflect on ways to focus more on gratitude.
10 tips to fit gratitude in your life
Ready to begin? Here are ten ways to become a more thankful
1. Every day, say aloud three good things that happened.
This can be a fun activity to do with your kids when you tuck them in, or
around the dinner table with family, but it’s also extremely powerful to
express gratitude aloud when you’re alone.
2. Keep a gratitude journal. Jot down the small things from
your day that mattered to you, like the few minutes of quiet time you had on
your drive to work, or the fact that this afternoon’s rain storm didn’t flood
your basement. If you’re having a particularly rough day, you can look back
through the pages of accumulated blessings in your life.
3. Say thanks to your partner. Couples who express gratitude
toward one another set up a powerful feedback loop of intimacy and trust, where
both partners feel as if their needs are being met.
4. Cool a hot temper with a quick gratitude inventory. One
of the quickest ways to dispel the energy of a stormy mood is to focus your
attention on what’s good. So when you’re about to lash out at someone, take a
moment to do a quick inventory of five things you’re thankful for in the
moment. It could be your good health, clean air, or even the recent switch to a
cheaper cell-phone bill, these details will help you relax and avoid saying
something you’ll later regret.
5. Thank yourself. Gratitude doesn’t always need to be
focused on what other people have done for you! Make sure you give yourself a
thank-you for the healthy habits you’ve cultivated in your own life, such as
eating plenty of veggies or giving yourself enough time for rest each night.
6. Use technology to send three gratitude messages a week.
Find yourself tethered to your cell phone or the internet for hours each day?
Harness the power of this technology to send out some good vibes, such as a text
or Facebook comment, to tell your friends why you appreciate them.
7. Savor the good moments. If you notice you’re feeling
happy, stop what you’re doing and pay attention for a few minutes. Notice
exactly how you feel, including the sensations in your body and the thoughts
you’re having. Later, when you’re trying to inspire gratitude, you can remember
this moment and experience the benefits all over again.
8. Check for silver linings. Even the most difficult life
challenges come with some benefit, you just have to look to find them. Being
sick draws the compassion of friends. Making a mistake teaches you a lesson. When
things feel hard, ask yourself: What’s good here?
9. Look outward, not inward. Robert Emmons says people are
more likely to feel grateful when they put their focus on others, rather than
getting caught up in their own inner narratives about how things should have gone.
Empathy for others can trigger a sense of gratitude. People who have an outward
focus tend to experience stronger benefits.
10. Change your perspective. If you struggle to come up with
something to feel grateful for, put
yourself in the shoes of someone who is experiencing misfortunes greater than
your own. Recalling a colleague who has
a debilitating physical condition, for example, will inspire gratitude for your own healthy body,
which you may have taken for granted otherwise.
I hope the above
message is useful. If you have any questions about the article or other health
issues, please call Parish Nurse Cheryl Letendre RN, BSN,
Source: University of Minnesota: Taking Charge of Your
Wellbeing: 10 Ways To Be a More Thankful Person.