November, the time when we swap out roasted pumpkin seeds for roasted turkey breasts and ignore the long, looming winter ahead of us. After all the excitement of costumes and candy during Halloween, it can be hard to find things worth being grateful for. But here’s the thing: We don’t actually have to look that hard because we have the power to create and nurture more of it whenever we please. All it takes is some intentional thought and action to get down with gratitude:
Be Conscious When Saying “Thank You”
At this point in our lives, saying “thank you” to people is just second nature. We were all raised to be polite, right? But more often than not, we thank people without even thinking about what they’ve done or how it’s affected us—we just say it because we’re supposed to. Next time someone opens a door or returns your wallet, stop yourself before you thank them and remember how grateful you truly are.
Give More to Others
How can we appreciate what others do for us if we have no understanding of the lengths they go to give? That’s part of why it’s so important to be generous. The more we give to others, the bigger our hearts become. Plus, you’ll know how good it feels to see a smile put on someone’s face. Win-win.
Keep a Daily Journal
We know, we know—it’s hard to remember to tie your shoes every day, much less keep a gratitude journal. It’s worth it, though. Consciously looking back on your day to find the good in it will help you see that maybe things aren’t so bad after all. Plus, when you flip through the pages at the end of the week/month/year, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the sweet moments.
Find the Good in the Hard
When things don’t go according to plan, we often foster an ungrateful attitude because dang it, I should have gotten the promotion over Richard! While our feelings are often valid, we can often lose sight of the bigger picture—for example, if you had gotten the promotion instead of Richard, you would have less time with your kids and never would have checked out the job listing at that cool new company. This is life. Bad things happen. But for every bad, there is good, and we’ll drive ourselves crazy if we don’t recognize it.