Friday, November 21, 2008

An Attitude of Gratitude - Being Thankful

With the Thanksgiving holiday just a few days away, we're probably taking stock of the things we're thankful for. Giving thanks may be a holiday tradition, but life gives us so many things to be thankful for year round.

When we make a list of the things we're thankful for, our family and friends probably top the list, followed by our successes and the good fortunes that have come our way. Besides reciting our list at the Thanksgiving dinner table, there are other ways we can show gratitude in our lives.

Here are a few simple ways to be thankful every day:

Hug a loved one. Let those close to you know how much you appreciate them. Make an effort to spend time with them and do something special for them.

Don't overlook the small kindnesses. Express your gratitude for small favors and acts of kindness. Simply saying "thank you" when someone does something nice like holding a door open can make them feel good and makes us feel good in return. Random acts of kindness and polite gestures are too uncommon these days to let them go unnoticed, and appreciation is always appreciated.

Count your blessings. Take stock of what you have. If you feel like things aren't going your way, make a list of the things that are in your favor. It could start with things as simple as having a roof over your head, or having your health. Don't take anything for granted.

Look at the world around you. There are so many ordinary things to be thankful for in life. Sunshine, the laughter of children, our favorite song on the radio, an unexpectedly warm day in December. Take a moment each day to notice the little things around you and enjoy them.

Stay connected to the past. When thinking about your family, don't forget the loved ones who've passed on. Be grateful for the memories of the happy times you spent with them and the love you had for each other. Remember the things you learned from them. Maybe you still fix things the way Grandpa showed you or you cook with some of Grandma's recipes. These are year-round ways we pay tribute to those who are no longer with us.

Look to the future. Be grateful for new opportunities, your children, anything that represents the future for you. Be thankful for each new day.

Make a list of things you're thankful for anytime. I am thankful for every sunny day, for the ability to create a blog and express myself, for those reading my blog, and I am thankful for every step I take.

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