Whether or not you’re American, Thanksgiving is a great time to remind ourselves that we all have so much to be grateful for. With the big day just around the corner on November 28th, we wanted to start thinking about what we are thankful for and just how lucky we are to be where we are in our lives at this moment.
Coincidentally, November also happens to be Gratitude Month, so even if you’re not dishing up mashed potatoes and green beans in a few weeks, you can still focus on the good things in life. While keeping a gratitude journal is productive and effective for some, others of us struggle to keep up with them. Rather than ditching our gratitude practices altogether, we decided to dream up some equally wonderful ways to kick-start and uphold our gratitude practices.
Shift the focus to others
A lot of times ruminating on what we’re grateful for has us thinking about ourselves and how things in the world relate to us. Instead, try to shift the focus to someone else, saying a blessing or setting an intention for a friend or loved one. If you know they’re struggling or need a little support, send your thoughts to them.
Make gratitude a ritual
While this of course could be journaling, it most certainly does not have to be. Engage in full moon rituals or investigate rosaries. Even if you’re not religious, using one of these rituals to dedicate to gratitude will help you keep up the practice.
Give to others
Now this one is easy. Doing something for someone else, whether it be volunteering at a charity or dropping off flowers to a friend you’ve noticed has been down lately, will help inspire feelings of gratitude within. Try to do something for someone else once a week. The sense of contentment and gratitude that will wash over you will encourage you to do this more and more.
Make it a daily dinner-time question
Instead of merely discussing your days with your partner or dining companions at the end of the day, make a point to tell someone what you were grateful for that day. Dining alone? Text a friend to let them know. This will keep you accountable!
Take a photo of something you’re grateful for every day
Your storage will fill up a little faster than before, but you’ll have concrete, physical reminders of what brings you joy and makes you feel thankful. That way, when you may be struggling to feel gratitude every now and again, you can look back through that album and feel the gratitude wash over you.
Start small and let it blossom
Like just about anything else, gratitude is a habit. Think of it like a muscle! If you start slow, you’ll build up in no time, ending up with a powerful, beautiful gratitude practice. Be grateful for a healthy, working body, a roof over your head and healthy, wholesome food, and from there, the gratitude possibilities are endless.