“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change opportunities into blessings.” (William Arthur Ward)
Happy Thanksgiving season, everyone! I love this time of year and the encouragement for reflection it brings. As we pull out our seasonal throw pillows, we are reminded to “count our blessings,” to “give thanks,” and to “be thankful.” And, as familiar as these reminders are, they still point to a truth that is worth noting: gratitude has transformational power.
I think we have all experienced this in our own lives, haven’t we? The simple act of choosing to look at the positive, to acknowledge the good gifts we’ve been given, and to embrace a posture of thankfulness can change our mood and our outlook on life in an instant. As we take this season to prepare for Thanksgiving and begin to count our blessings, I have been thinking of a few ways to tangibly bring this practice of gratitude not only into this holiday season, but to carry it through our lives throughout the year. Here are some of my favorite ideas!
- Start a gratitude journal. It doesn’t have to be anything time-consuming or extravagant, but just taking the time to jot down a thing or two each day that we are especially thankful for in that moment is a great way to savor life and shift our perspective.
- Speak gratitude in your family. I think that sometimes family relationships are the ones we most easily take for granted. Whether it be your parents, your spouse, your siblings, or your kids, take just a moment to let them know you are grateful for them and what a special role they play in your life.
- Look through old pictures and scrapbooks. Sometimes simply being reminded of where we’ve been is enough to evoke gratefulness in us. Reminisce over good memories made, smile about stressful family vacations that are now laughable, and think of the people who have been a part of your life over the many years.
These are just a few of the ways to foster thankfulness, not only in this holiday season, but also throughout the coming year! They are simple practices, but they have the power to transform our perspective all the same. Life is sweet and is truly a vapor. Let’s all be intentional about embracing this season of thankfulness and carrying our grateful hearts with us as we go! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration this year!