Gratitude : the quality of being thankful, a readiness to show appreciation, and to return kindness. Deep gratitude comes from within us, from a meaningful place where true appreciation lives; from the heart. Gratitude is expressing these heartfelt thanks for what we already have and even for what we don’t have yet but we know is soon to come.
During the holiday season we often find that the concepts of gratitude and thankfulness are emphasized more so than normal. It’s a good time to be thankful for gifts, and not just the ones in wrapping paper! Gifts can come in the form of people, relationships, experience, knowledge, faith, health, peace, etc. Taking the time to give attention to these gifts can make our holidays, and our lives, more meaningful and abundant.
To receive the full benefit of gratitude practices, we should aim to show our appreciation every day and every moment! As we *consistently* shift our focus AWAY from complaints, AWAY from lack, and tune-in to that which we are grateful for, we will slowly but surely begin to adjust the way we perceive reality. When our perception of reality changes, our actual reality falls in line with that perception, thus making OUR world a better place.
Cultivating gratitude is a skill and just like any valuable skill, it takes practice.
What are some practices we can use to improve our gratitude skills?
Daily Check-In : Use these questions as a day-to-day guide for yourself. Feel free to print them out and hang them on your fridge or bathroom mirror, put them in your purse or pocket, keep them on your desk at the office, or even on the dashboard in your car! Consistency is KEY.
- Did I say “Thank You” to someone today? Was I specific in my thanks to them?
- Did I do something nice to show my appreciation for others?
- Can I list 3 specific reasons for gratitude in my life (people, things, relationships, feelings, faiths, etc.)?
Return the Kindness : How to share our gratitude practices with others.
- Offer up sincere (and specific) thanks to someone you care about. ((Example: Thank you so much for supporting me in the growth of my business this year, you are an inspiration to me!))
- Ask others what specific things they are grateful for, listen to their answers, and share in the joy with them!
This holiday season, let’s give ourselves the gift of gratitude and the gift of seeking to implement gratitude practices in our daily lives, today and beyond.
I am grateful for you.
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