This is a special time a year – one that promotes reflection and recognition of the good in our lives. The last couple of years have been trying, tiring, and may perhaps have made it more difficult to find reasons to give thanks. There are always ways to focus on the positives, and each day should be recognized as a gift, not a given. In light of the difficulties we have all experienced, here are a few keys to grateful living you can carry with you daily:
Acknowledge the bad.
Even if it seems counterintuitive, acknowledging the “bad” in your life will help you acknowledge the good. The hard times you experience will help bring to light easier times. Living through tough situations will help you recognize and find gratitude for the better moments.
Practice Verbal Gratitude.
Day by day, it can be easier to go through the motions without pausing to reflect on our blessings. When you find yourself struggling to keep a positive mindset, taking time to remember and savor the simple things can help you. Verbalizing your gratitude to family and friends for their love, support and presence in your life is another way to create a cycle of good.
Write a gratitude list.
When you find yourself struggling with keeping a positive mind set, it might be time to take a step back and think about what has stuck you in a bad mentality. Even in the darkest of times, there are reasons to be thankful. These reasons may not be obviously apparent when you are struggling to see the good, so writing a gratitude list can help you remember why you are fortunate (even when experiencing misfortune). This list is a physical representation of your gratitude. In contrast to verbalizing your thanks, you are making a physical reminder that you can look back on the next time you need a refresher.
Visually remind yourself.
Visual reminders of what you should be grateful for make it easier to give thanks. Having a photo of your pets, family, and friends nearby helps you keep them in mind, daily. Perhaps you have a trip that you are fond of, or a creation of your own doing. Keep pictures at your desk, in your wallet, or keepsakes in an accessible place. You never know when you will need the reminder and having these tokens will help you express daily gratitude.