When Thanksgiving rolls around every year, people usually express appreciation for what they have. But one day of being thankful isn’t enough. This year let’s make a point to express gratitude every day during November. If you haven’t built a habit of being thankful already, here’s why you should and how to practice gratitude.
What is Gratitude?
There are several definitions of gratitude, all relating to being thankful for something. Gratitude is a feeling of appreciation for what one has. It is the recognition of something good in one’s life. It’s recognizing the value of something in one’s life. The value doesn’t have anything to do with money but more of intrinsic value. It can be an appreciation for what a person in your life has meant to you or done for you. It can be recognizing and reflecting on the importance of something you have.
If we don’t have to express our appreciation for someone’s act to them in person, what is the point? Why should we bother to just think about it?
Why Being Grateful is Good for Us
There is a scientific reason that practicing gratitude is beneficial for us. Positive Psychology research tells us that being thankful has a strong positive association with happiness. That means that for most people the more that they reflect on the things they are grateful for, the happier they become. Most people WANT to be HAPPY, right? Well, one way to increase your happiness is to express appreciation. And you don’t even have to express it verbally to someone else. Just the act of recognizing the positive value of something in your life helps to increase your happiness.
How to Practice Gratitude
Many people like to keep a gratitude journal, whether it’s a formal bound journal or just a handwritten list. This is one way to practice gratitude. The act of writing down what you are thankful for makes it easier to remember. And psychology research has taught us that if you handwrite it (rather than type it) you remember it longer. When the memory of your appreciation of someone or something lasts longer, it will increase your happiness. (Remember that strong positive association I talked about earlier?)
If you want to start keeping a Gratitude Journal, here’s a link to some you might want to look at. See which one seems to fit for you since they can be very different in style
If you just want to give this gratitude practice a try without purchasing a journal, I’ve created a special Gratitude Month calendar for the month of November. This one is already dated for you. All you have to do is click here to download it.
I’ve also created a 30-day list of gratitude prompts. Click here to download the prompts list. Now when you’re coming up with your own gratitudes from the prompts provided, you can write them on your Gratitude Month calendar or write them in your Gratitude Journal. The point is to write them down so you can look back and reflect on them later.
The Wrap Up
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about gratitude, what it is, why we need to practice gratitude, and how to do that. Try to make it a habit every day this month to write down something you’re grateful for or appreciate. I hope that by Thanksgiving you recognize how fortunate you really are.
If you want to read more, try these posts:
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