During the Thanksgiving holiday many of us make an effort of integrating practices with our family around showing our thanks. one year all the kids in our family wrote notes to everyone coming to dinner, as to why they were thankful for that family member being a part of their lives. I don’t know if they knew what an impact that had on all the adults, however their innocent gesture reverberated amongst us all and inspired the family to remember how grateful we really should be about the love surrounding us.
Well time passes and we get back into our every day responsibilities. Those precious rituals and their impact start to fade away. With less and less time taken to be thankful, we lose a little bit of our innocence and the glee associated with remembering the abundance of love, opportunity and support we encounter. In other words, we take our world for granted and when the negatives pop up (as they are inevitable) we start to emphasize our lack and not our luck.
This year I discovered the actual version of the quote “Good things come to those who wait” which continues to say “but only what’s left after those who hustle”. Just as negative events are inevitable so are good events. However, good events will eventually come but will come more often if we are intentional about increasing happiness in our life. According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, the author of “The How of Happiness” , there are building blocks of happiness we can all work with to increase our level of contentment. Depending on your personality, some of the practices are better suited to you than others. The first building block is Positive Thinking, which includes gratitude, optimism and self awareness. My favorite building block! I tend to think it’s first because it is easily applied to any of us. Gratitude can be integrated throughout your day, your week and with small acts, can make huge differences in your ability to feel good.
It Takes Effort, Big or Small
What does this effort look like:
•Gratitude journal-Can be done daily, weekly or at will
•Listen to daily gratitude affirmations to assist your memory and start out the day right
•Write a gratitude letter/email to someone who deserves your thanks well beyond Thanksgiving
•Pick up the phone and call someone just to tell them how important they are to you
Research shows that your mood is heightened with the practice of gratitude, but from what I see you are also practicing acts of kindness, also proven to be an activity a part of the sustainable happiness practices. Sounds like a great double wammy to me!
Don’t Wait Any Longer
My guess is if you start right now using gratitude regularly, by the time Christmas comes and your Aunt Sally gives you another fruit cake for Christmas, you’ll be so in the mindset of gratitude, you will appreciate her thinking of you and forget she just tried to poison you 🙂