Purposefully Give Thanks
Did you know Thanksgiving wasn't celebrated regularly until President Abraham Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday of November a national holiday? A little-known fact is that Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned to recognize the day for 17 years prior to it being made a federal holiday. Here are some ideas to help us remember that the holiday is about more than a table of delicious food, football and parades; it's a day to purposefully give thanks and appreciate everything we have.
How to be purposefully grateful everyday
1. Appreciate the little things. Some days it's easier to find things to be thankful for than others. Regardless of how your day is unfolding, take time to appreciate the little things and you may find your day turns out better than you expected.
2. Look on the bright side. Look for ways to be grateful when faced with challenges. Gratitude changes your mindset and helps you become more optimistic. Optimists see challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement.
3. Count your blessings. It takes up to eight weeks of practicing gratitude for the brain to start showing changes reflecting greater happiness. Write down three to five things you're grateful for daily. If you're not sure what to write, answer these questions:
- What are you grateful for right now?
- Who are three people you're grateful to have in your life?
- What is something you tend to take for granted that you're grateful for?
4. Volunteer. When you help others, it tends to create feelings of well-being and happiness. Volunteer in your local community or help others you know who may be facing difficult times. Look for opportunities to give.
5. Show Appreciation. In addition to saying "thank you" and letting people know how much you appreciate them, write a note to someone who has had an impact on your life and let them know how much they mean to you.
Keep a gratitude jar. Write down what you're thankful for on a piece of paper and place it in the jar. Regularly pick a piece out of the jar and read what you've written. Your guaranteed to feel more grateful.