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Filed Under: Personal
How to Express Gratitude in Your Daily Life

How to Express Gratitude in Your Daily Life

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and with that comes gratitude and reflection. Gratitude makes us feel like what we have is enough. It turns the glass that’s half filled, full. It makes one person into a family and one meal into a feast. Today, we are going to explore gratitude and how you can express your gratitude daily. Not just over the holidays. 

The holidays can force people to look at their truth, what they have and what they don’t. Because of this, people often overlook the little things that get you through life in general. Something so simple as having another day to live and breathe; something that not all people get to experience. Sometimes we blindly say thank you without truly understanding the meaning behind it. Sometimes the simplest of things can change a whole perspective. Some days it’s hard to put things into perspective and the negative clouds our judgement, but that just means we have to look a little harder to find what we know we have with us and within us. 


Here are some ideas on ways to practice gratitude not only on Thanksgiving, but every day: 


  1. Pay respect to the native culture in general, especially during thanksgiving. Become an ally to Native Americans. Learn about the true history of Thanksgiving and why it isn’t as joyful as we learned growing up. Learn more about the real relationship between the Wampanoag tribe with the Pilgrims and support them in their time of mourning. Donate to a non-profit and give back to them because they need and deserve the support and respect. 


  2. Give back in any way you can. There are so many organizations that could use the support and any help can go a long way. Just make sure that they are credible. Try to volunteer and donate to local organizations. Donate to local food and clothing drives. Give back to people who make daily life possible. Be intentional with tips too if possible. Everyone is going through their own journey so try putting yourself in other people's shoes. Do what would make you smile and give that gift to others! 


  3. Spend more time with family and friends. Some people have a lot of friends and family members accessible to them and should never take advantage of that. Don’t just wait till they call. Take the initiative to call them and make the plans. Keep each other up to date and share your appreciation for them. Some people don’t have people to call family so try to be intentional with the time you spend with the ones you love. You don’t know how long they will be in your life so it’s important to take every moment with them as a gift. 


  4. Say thank you and understand why you are saying it. We sometimes say thank you as a habit because we have been doing it for so long. Not that it is a bad habit, we learned it for a reason, to be polite. For example, when someone sneezes we say “bless you” and the person will say thank you back. And when your waiter comes around and they pour you water you naturally thank them. Saying your “thank yous” shows your appreciation for the person you are thanking. They may value it and need to hear it more than you know. Be sincere and intentional when you thank others. Remember why you thank people and appreciate their help in your life no matter how small or routinely the task may be. 


  5. Thank yourself and congratulate yourself often. I often forget this step. I don’t always remember the strength and resilience I have. The power to bounce back after difficult times. Thank your body for working, for getting out of bed, for brushing your teeth. Congratulate yourself for making it to the gym, for following through with plans, or finishing a deadline. If no one will acknowledge your win, acknowledge it yourself. Sometimes change happens within and isn't always visible. You might be the only one who rightfully knows how you feel and/or the steps you’ve been taking behind closed doors. Be proud of yourself. 


  6. Be respectful. Respect others and appreciate what they do for you.You’ve heard this before, probably since you were a kid. Treat people the way you would want to be treated. Don’t project your bad day onto someone else. If someone does not ask to share their emotions with you, don’t automatically assume they do. Respect others' boundaries! Don’t forget to also respect yourself. Do what you truly want to do. Set your own boundaries. Before you say yes, ask yourself, is this what I really want? 


  7. Smile and spread kindness everyday. There is actual science behind smiling, how it can send neurotransmitters to your brain when you turn the corners of your mouth up. And how a hug can make you feel better. A small act of kindness can turn anyone's day around. We never know what anyone is going through, but at least we have the power to try to not add more weight to their pain. 


  8. Try journaling or meditating. Start your mornings or end your nights creating a list of what you are thankful for. You can meditate on those thoughts, even just making the list in your head. It doesn’t take long to do, but spending a few moments a day to reflect on what you do can help you ground yourself for the day or the next. 


  9. Treat your body and mind with love and care. Be intentional about the way you treat your body and your mind. They are so powerful and are the reason you are alive. Nourish your body with good food, stay hydrated, and keep your body moving. Take care of yourself and listen to your body and its needs. It's ok to indulge, but be aware of its limits. 


We hope you can use this post as a reminder to try to be aware of yourself and others. To accept that your actions have an impact on this world. Gratitude can keep you grounded and help bring yourself back to reality. When your mental health is in a spiral, try to take a moment to remember you and what makes you, you. This list is just ideas of what you can do to bring gratitude and thankfulness into your daily life. The holiday season can be a difficult time for many. It can feel lonely and you might feel lost, but just know that you can find yourself again.