Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Let's Give Thanks Part II:Gratitude

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 107:1

This time of year, everyone is talking about thankfulness. About 88% of my Facebook friends are posting each day about something that they are thankful for, and that is totally awesome. I think that most of us, especially me, could use a good dose of that thankfulness stuff every day, not just in the month of November. That is why this week is an excellent time to start some new habits that build gratitude into our daily lives.
This is not a strictly religious thing, this is for anyone, regardless of belief or denomination, and it can be super simple.
Could you come up with a list of 1000 things that you are grateful for? Grab a pen and paper and start making a list. This is surely not a one day activity, but maybe something to work on a little bit each day for awhile. When you are done, keep it somewhere that you can reread in often.
 Try a gratitude journal. Just designate a journal or notebook and keep it next to your bed. Each night, before you settle in, take a moment to jot down the things that you are thankful for. They may be general things like "my home" and "my family" or specific things like "the look on my kid's faces at the Festival of Lights." The list might be short or long, depending on the day. Make it a habit to write in your gratitude journal every day, but don't beat yourself up if you miss a day now and then. Then, next year, open up your journal the day before Thanksgiving and read about all the things you have felt grateful for all year long. I can guarantee that it will be a truly heartwarming experience.
Another variation of this activity is for each member of the family to write something you are grateful for on a popsicle stick or strip of paper every day before bed, and place it in a mason jar. Next year, while enjoying dessert on Thanksgiving, take turns pulling from the jar and reading out loud all of the things you were all thankful for all year long.

There are lots of resources out there about learning to be more grateful. Some of my favorites are:
With wishes for a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude!

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