Thanksgiving season is upon us! But, I am confused. Why do we have to wait until the Thanksgiving season to start listing what we are thankful for? I think that it is absolutely wonderful that the United States continues to set apart a special day for giving thanks.
Yet, gratitude should be a way of life. Although…nothing is quite better than stuffing your face with turkey and falling asleep to football on the TV on the fourth Thursday of November. 🙂
Really though, Gratitude can magnify the way you think, feel, and believe. It helps us enjoy the really awesome things that happen. Gratitude will help you endure the hard things in life with some dignity and maybe even a little humor.
Gratitude…what does it mean? Let me break it down for you!
It is noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means counting your blessings. It means learning to live your life as if any minute a miracle is going to happen. It means continuously being aware of all you have been given.
Gratitude shifts your mindset from what you lack in life to the richness of wonderful, shiny things that you already have. Now that is a game changer!
In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more spirited, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.
Imagine loosing some of the things you take for granted, such as your college education, your job, your ability to see or hear, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you security. Then imagine getting each of these things back, one by one, and consider how grateful you would be for each and every one.
Start finding joys in the small things instead of holding out for big achievements–such as the people who smile back at you as you walk on campus, nervousness of first dates, having someone tell you they are proud of you, seeing the endless amounts of ENOS on Sweetheart Circle, and so on–before allowing yourself to feel gratitude and joy.
Gratitude is not a response of getting what you wanted. It is all-the-time- gratitude, the kind where you constantly look for the good even in unpleasant situations. Bring gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for that encouraging moment to make you give thanks. In this way, you will find yourself on your way to becoming a Master of Gratitude!