Now is the time of year when we gather with friends and family to reflect and share thanks for all that we have. It occurred to me that this tradition should really be something we consciously practice all year long. It’s human nature to take things for granted, so it probably wouldn’t hurt any of us, to make a little extra time to say thanks, no matter what day of the year it is.
Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to make a turkey dinner each time you want to be thankful; all you need to do is take a moment and think about someone or something that you appreciate. I have created three action steps – they are easy, effective and I challenge you to practice, at least one, consistently through the year. As you do this more often, it will become second nature and you will see how a simple act of thanks can add more positivity into your life and make others feel great!
3 Ways to Show Gratitude.
1. Start a journal of thanks. Keep a notebook next to your bed, and every night before you go to sleep, write about one thing you are grateful for. This is especially effective when you’ve had a bad day or are dealing with a stressful situation. By writing down one thing that you are thankful for (there is always something or someone to be thankful for, even on the worst days) you are choosing to end your day with a positive thought. This is simple exercise can help lift your spirits and put things in perspective when life throws unexpected challenges your way. It can also improve your quality of sleep – Oh Yeah!
2. Thank you notes. When was the last time you received a sweet, hand written note from someone? In a world of text messages and emails, writing a note on a piece of paper seems like a tall tale, you’ll tell your future grandkids about. Let’s bring back love notes! Why not write a simple message of thanks to a loved one; stick it on the fridge or put it in their lunch bag as a surprise; they won’t be expecting it and it will leave them smiling all day long.
3. Thank people you don’t know. It’s not just our immediate family that would appreciate a kind word or two. What about all the other people we come in contact with on a daily basis; our co-workers, the cashier at the grocery store, the bus driver and yet we hardly notice one another. Why not make a point of acknowledging someone you would normally pass by? Just some eye contact (this will require you to look up from your phone) and smile can make a big difference in someone’s day. We tend to complain, at the drop of a hat but we rarely take the time to let someone know they did a great job. If you receive exceptional service, send an email to the company’s head office and let them know about the great experience you had. This simple act can make someone feel really good. Remember we all have bad days and sometimes one person can turn that day around with a simple smile or a thank you.
Are you going to try one of my action steps? Do you have any special ways that you like to practice thanks all year round? Share it in the comment section!