“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~William Arthur Ward
You are probably thinking this is a crazy subject for a blog during the holiday season, right? I mean it is a time of giving. The truth is there is a difference between giving and gratitude.
Did you know by practicing gratitude you can be healthier, less stressed, and more optimistic? It can even have positive effects on your career and relationships.
We easily embrace gratitude when things are going well, but what about during the difficult times. Over the last few years, I have shared my struggles with the diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder and MS. Some days, I struggle with gratitude. I struggle to find the good. I am blessed with friends, and family members, who treat me with kindness, love, and compassion – something I know isn’t always easy on those bad days.
I have learned to turn my attention from the negative where I dwell on my fears to asking myself: “What can I be thankful for? Who can I thank today?” The more I focus on gratitude, the less time I have to focus on my worries.
No matter whether you’re on one of life’s highs or one of it’s lows, you have a great deal to gain by sharing your appreciation with the world. Here are some of ideas:
1. Like every post on friends’ social media feeds
I know this sounds silly, right? It is an easy way to express gratitude. Those notifications can mean a lot to people and, unless you disagree with what’s being said in the post, why not show your appreciation for the person who shared it by giving it a thumbs-up or a heart?
2. Forgive someone who has hurt you
When you forgive someone who has hurt you (with or without an apology), you’re essentially expressing gratitude for the experience and for the opportunity to experience compassion for someone else. Forgiveness does not condone the wrongdoing but it gives you a chance bless and release your resentment and anger.
3. Make and share a list of someone’s good traits
Every time you notice something wonderful about someone else, write it down. When you have a nice little list gathered, share it with him or her to express how thankful you are for his or her wonderful traits. Don’t keep those thoughts to yourself!
4. Share your positive reviews with others
How many times have you complained to a store manager or restaurant or write an online review because of a bad experience and want to vent about it? What if you shared every positive experience you had with a product or service? Leaving positive reviews and telling managers about positive employees is a fantastic way to express gratefulness.
5. Put your phone away when you’re with people
I can see the eyes rolling now! The best way to express your gratitude to others is to be fully present in their presence. I know how hard this can be. Try your hardest to put your phone away when you’re interacting with others. Doing so will allow you to be more appreciative of the experiences you have with them.
6. Pick up and throw away litter when you see it
This is BIG picture gratitude. If you’re not spending time appreciating, and caring for, the world around you, you’re missing out on a great gratitude opportunity. Picking up litter when you see it, is a small act, but if we all did it, the world would be a much better and cleaner place.
7. Teach someone about something new
Everyone has unique skills and talents. Whether it’s something small or big, we all have something we can share with others. Sharing what we know allows us to show we value them enough to teach them something, but it also is a chance for us to be grateful for our personal knowledge and skills.
Whether you choose to express gratitude using one of the creative gratitude tips or not, it’s my hope you’re inspired in some way to think outside the box when it comes to showing appreciation for the people and experiences in your life.
Gratitude is one of the greatest ways to make your world a happier place, and the more you practice it, the more things you’ll find to be grateful for.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!