People have written countless blog posts, articles, and books about gratitude marketing, being thankful for those who mentor us, and loving those around us. But is gratitude more than something we think about on Thanksgiving Day? Hopefully, yes.
Start with Ten
If you’ve never tried gratitude before, start with writing down ten things that you’re grateful for. Go on. I’ll wait. Then write another sentence about each of those first ten things. For example, let’s say you’re grateful to your mom. Well, of course you are. She gave birth to you. What other things did she do for you? She probably protected you. Maybe she made you cookies or helped you with homework. If you have trouble with this exercise, here are 100 Things to Be Thankful For, from Real Simple magazine.
Strengthen the Muscle Daily
Here’s a great article: The 7 Habits of Grateful People. I like that one about mindfully using social media. And being grateful every single day, even for the little things. Do you appreciate your pillow? Having clean air and water (actually pretty big things when you think about it). How about your pet hedgehog?
List Some Unexpected Things
You may not even realize what you have until you look around and see what someone else doesn’t have. How about that roof over your head? How about your health? What about being able to breathe? Having your vision? You get the idea!
A gratitude journal lets you track, and, as you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), you may think of even more things to be grateful for. You might want to add pictures. You might want to set up a secret board in Pinterest to keep a visual reminder of what makes you grateful. Here’s a Pinterest primer if you need to get started!
Letters of Gratitude
Reconnecting with old friends through letters is a perfect way to flex that gratitude muscle. How many times do we spend an hour just telling someone how wonderful, inspiring, and intelligent someone is? And sending a handwritten note is becoming more and more rare, according to this article from Harvard Business Review: Handwritten Notes Are a Rare Commodity: They’re Also More Important Than Ever. If you’re thinking of picking up your pen again, after a hiatus, handwritten letters are also a very good way to reconnect with yourself, besides creating a deeper connection with long-lost friends.
What Are You Grateful For?
When you get more specific with what you’re grateful for, you might be able to think of even more things. For instance, not just your car, but that your car gets 45 miles per gallon and does 75 mph downhill with a tailwind. (Well, that’s my car!) Are you one of the 25% of people who name their car? I’m surprised that the number is so low.
To the readers of my blog, I thank you. I appreciate the comments and your taking the time to read my words.