It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost here! When we think of this holiday, we likely think of spending time with friends and family, football, and of course, food. Unfortunately, with so much going on (and so much delicious food), the true meaning of Thanksgiving can be forgotten. This year, try to be more intentional by practicing gratitude. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out these tips and implement them into your routine!
What is Gratitude and Why is it Important?
According to Harvard Health Publishing, the definition of gratitude is a “thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.” Feelings of gratitude can pertain to the past, present, and future. In practicing gratitude, people recognize the good in their life and what creates that goodness. However, practicing gratitude is slightly different than simply saying thank you. In fact, Positive Psychology defines it as a greater appreciation that leads to lasting positivity.
Practicing gratitude is a great way to recognize the good in your life, helping to provide a brighter outlook. However, there are many other notable benefits of practicing gratitude. Healthline notes that gratitude can improve mental health, the immune system, and even increase optimism! With all the benefits that gratitude can provide, why not implement this practice into your daily routine? Here’s where you can start:
Start a Gratitude Journal
One of the simplest ways to take note of your gratitude is by simply writing it down. Keep a gratitude journal, and each day, write down a couple of things that you’re grateful for and why. Then, on days that you aren’t feeling 100%, you can look back at this journal and recognize all the good that surrounds you. If a journal seems too time-consuming, you could even write your thoughts in a note on your phone so that you have access to it at all times. Start by recording daily gratitude, and it will become second nature!
Another simple way to practice gratitude is through meditation. Take a few minutes each morning to sit, relax, and contemplate. During this time, you can think about all you’re grateful for, past, present, and future. Doing so will get your day off to a great start and put your mind in a position of positivity. If you don’t have time to give a few minutes to stop and think, you can do so at any point! While you’re brushing your teeth, making your coffee, or driving to work. There’s always time to stop and be grateful.
For visual learners and creatives, gratitude mapping is a great tool! According to Healthline, gratitude mapping is basically a mood board to display what you’re grateful for. Pictures, notes, tickets from past events — anything you can think of that makes you feel thankful can be put on this board. Hang it up in your home, and you’ll be reminded daily of all the good in your life!
Express Your Gratitude
Now that you recognize what you are grateful for, be sure to share that with those in your life. It’s time to express your gratitude for friends, family, and partners. In doing so, you’ll not only be brightening their day but also improving your relationship as a whole. In fact, according to a study, partners that show gratitude towards each other display increased relationship satisfaction and happiness the next day. During this season and throughout the year, take the time to express how you’re feeling grateful for your friends, family, and loved ones.
Hopefully, this Thanksgiving season, we can remember the true meaning of thankfulness. Perhaps we can take these practices with us into the future, not just during the holiday season!
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