With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you may be feeling all kinds of thankful – for family, friends and even grandma’s famous pumpkin pie – and for good reason.
Turns out, gratitude – or the feeling of being thankful – is not just a trendy buzzword; there’s a reason it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. In fact, studies have shown that focusing on feelings of gratitude may be linked to a heightened wellbeing – with emotional and interpersonal benefits – and may even have a positive impact on one’s mental health. That’s pretty powerful stuff.
Are you ready to sprinkle more gratitude into your life this holiday season? Here are 5 simple ways to get started!
1. Start a Gratitude Journal
It’s time you put those dusty, old notebooks to use and give gratitude journaling a whirl! Each morning upon rising, simply write down one to three things you are grateful for – and take a moment to reflect upon your entry throughout the day.
Want to take it a step further? Go deeper to find your “why” with this prompt: “I am grateful for X because…” For example, you may write “I am grateful for my health because I am able to run the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot every year with my family.”
2. Create a Gratitude Jar
If you fancy yourself more of a crafter, a DIY gratitude jar could be a perfect activity for you and your family. Grab an empty Mason jar from the cabinet, and decorate it with ribbon, paint or even paste on your favorite quotes.
Place your jar somewhere easily accessible – like your nightstand, desk or sofa table – and each day drop in a post-it note with one thing you’re grateful for. Feel free to look back on your notes throughout the year as a reminder of all you already do have!
3. Host a Thanksgiving Gratitude Roundtable
With Thanksgiving coming up, you may want to try this new holiday ritual with your family. Before diving into your Turkey Day feast, have everyone go around the room to share one thing they’re grateful for.
Consider having someone write down everyone’s answers in a notebook, so you can have a special keepsake to look back on over the years!
4. Bring Gratitude Into the Workplace
Does your staff need a little morale boost this holiday season? Start by simply expressing gratitude to your colleagues! One experimental study at a fundraising call center found workers who received praise from a manager actually saw a boost in productivity. The reason? A sense of feeling valued.
Show your appreciation by writing a handwritten note, paying it forward with a small gift – even a cup of coffee with their name written on it – or simply saying “Thank you.”
5. Surround Yourself with People Who Lift You Up
If you’re not feeling so merry and bright this holiday season, it may be time to take inventory of the people you surround yourself with most. Let go of toxic relationships, and surround yourself with friends and family who bring out the best in you (by hosting a dinner party, chatting on the phone or grabbing a quick coffee).
And take stock of your social media relationships too. Do the people you follow lift you up or bring on negative emotions? If it’s the latter, it’s OK to hit the unfollow button.