Saturday, November 10, 2007

How to be Thankful

Do you take many things in your life for granted? By looking at the world a little differently, you just might realize how much you have to be thankful for. Here's how to stop and smell the roses.

Pay attention to the people around you. You will find that everybody has something to worry or complain about, not just you. It's easy to focus on those who seem to have it all, but you never know what's going on inside. They might look happy, but they might be miserable as well. Don't look at others and think "I should have it like they do." Look at those who aren't as fortunate as you are and take note of blessed you are. Count your blessings. If it helps, consider volunteering or start a relationship with someone who is not as fortunate and find small or gradual ways to help them.
Practice acceptance. Stop dwelling on how things should be, what could've been, and what you don't have. Recognize what you do have--whether you like it or not, it's yours to keep or to change. Accepting your lot in life is not about resigning yourself to unhappiness. It's about not wasting time wishing for what you don't have.
Become a problem solver. Use your lemons to make lemonade. Get in the habit of asking yourself how you can turn the negative into a positive. The most successful people in life, and those who have the most to be grateful for, are also those who've endured tremendous trials and managed to persevere and turn it all around.
Learn to see hardship as a chance to develop character. Imagine yourself looking back ten years from now and recounting your difficult circumstances, and being proud of how you handled it and worked through it.
Develop a gratitude journal. It's pretty simple. At the end of every day, write down five things that have made you happy or appreciative that day; not necessarily big things, even small ones count.
For example: 1) nice weather, 2) being thanked by a customer at work, 3) my pet, 4) having people who love me, 5) a funny joke or a song you like.
Take joy in the small things. Blow bubbles. Walk the dog. Get lost in the park. Goof off or watch a funny movie and have a good laugh. Life's treasures are the small pleasures; give thanks for each small gift you receive!

Avoid negative people whose social interaction consists of comparing their lives and competing for who has it worse.
Volunteering to help those in need will help put things in perspective.

Variation is a part of life; seasons, day and night, hilltops and valleys, light and darkness.
No matter how positive and thankful you are, remember that life will always have its ups and downs. You're going to have to take the good with the bad.


Holly said...

It's amazing when you stop to think about it how many things you have to be grateful for. I usd to do a weekly post, "Grains of Gratitude." Sonce now I'm lucky if I post once a week, that would be all would post. But, it does put everything in perspective and make your smaller cares fall away. Good for you.

dawn said...

Good advice to stay positive and realize that life has it's ups and downs, and our emotional outcome, depends on how we handle it.