November brings Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. Most people take time to reflect on the year and get ready for the next. Many choose to count their blessings and share joys with others. In the middle of this, gratitude can be found and shared.
Tis The Time for Thoughts
Including gratitude in your life can be very beneficial- there are benefits to your well-being. It’s a rough world out there, and many of us can use ideas to incorporate healthy thinking. These are just a few benefits of being grateful:
- Higher self-esteem. When you realize what you have and you are content with that, you tend to feel better about yourself and your life. Many people have fallen into the hole of believing that everything they see on their friends’ social media is what their life is really like. Who knows? The friend with a huge, gorgeous house might be struggling internally and not want to show it. It’s easier to show off the house than her feelings. Comparing ourselves to others can drag us down and make us forget what we have. It can even improve your mental health- decreasing depression and increasing happiness.
- Better, stronger relationships. When friends/couples show more generosity towards each other, it builds stronger bonds over time. This becomes a nice feeling that many like to hold onto. It feels good to be acknowledged and to do so for others.
- Less aggression, more empathy. Considering the current state of the world, this could be a very good thing. Empathy can be a hard commodity to come by (look at comments on hot topics on Facebook, for example). Being grateful for what you have in your life can decrease your ability to retaliate against others or participate in other non- aggressive behaviors.
A Sprinkle of Gratitude
You don’t have to shout from a mountain or take out a billboard to declare how grateful you are for your life. There are smaller and more impactful ways to do so: (and you might already be doing these)
- A small gratitude journal. This can be as small as jotting down the highlights from your day.
- Thank those that help you out- baggers at the grocery store, bank tellers, etc. This can go a long way in making someone’s day.
- Thank your family members/friends that are always there for you– drop a text, card, whatever you may think they will like. It will be appreciated more than you know. I used to get my mom a card every week when I was in college at EKU to tell her thanks for sending me to college. She still has them, 16 years later.
- Mediate. While doing so, if you want to try something new, reflect on your blessings and the good things about yourself.
- Send a kind, brief email to your child’s teacher. They do a lot and barely get any recognition.
- Donate/volunteer. Is there a non-profit that you believe is helping the world? Do you want to help animals, kids or other groups? Donating is good, and if you can, in person volunteering is so much more rewarding. I’m in my second year of volunteering for the AFSP. Many shelters, food banks, and soup kitchens need volunteers this time of the year. Some offer opportunities for families.
Enjoy the holiday season and all that it brings!
Is there something that you enjoy doing to show gratitude? Share in the comments or on social media.
Information from Chopra
Pictures from Unsplash