Every Thanksgiving, people discuss objects of their gratitude and post Facebook statuses about their wonderful families or how much food they’ve managed to consume in one sitting. Some families have traditions in which each person from the table states something or someone he/she is grateful for.
But being thankful extends beyond the family dinner table. Practicing gratitude can actually have a very positive effect on your health and your confidence. Don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips to help you actively practice gratitude and embrace togetherness during this cheery–and sometimes stressful–season (as well as all year round).
Actually Say “Thank You”
Voicing a thank you when someone holds a door, offers you a seat on the subway, or asks permission for something, can remind the person doing the good deed of the value of simple gestures. Expressing your thanks to others helps rejuvenate a gracious spirit: not only within them, but within you as well.
Have a “Friendsgiving”
It has become a tradition for groups of friends to get together around Thanksgiving for an event commonly known as “Friendsgiving.” Often, these are potluck gatherings, in which friends catch up, eat each other’s home-cooked meals, and enjoy spending time with one another. This is a great way to remind the friends that you choose to keep in your life that you are thankful for them and all that they do.
At the end of the day, think of three things for which you were grateful for that day. This reinforces a healthy mentality by helping you appreciate all of life’s moments.
Involve Yourself in a Random Act of Kindness
Part of being grateful is realizing that some people are not fortunate enough to have or experience some of the amazing things that you do. Practice your gratefulness in a very concrete way by stopping to notice those around you. Whether you hold a door open for a single mom who can’t get her stroller through, or you assist an elderly person by picking up something they dropped on the floor, or even if you sacrifice your morning Starbucks for a person that is experiencing homelessness, spreading love without the need to be noticed for your actions is the ultimate way to show your gratitude for life, for people, and for the world.