12 Days of Christmas
Day 11: Gift of Expressing Gratitude
Gratitude has been getting heightened attention and can be described as expressing an appreciation for what we have, rather than expressing dissatisfaction for what we don’t have. Research reports that practicing the expression of gratitude may deepen our feelings of satisfaction with what we have, however small those things may be. As you can imagine, it is believed that expressing gratitude could have infinite benefits such as a greater degree of positive energy and positive emotions. I have three ways I practice expressing my gratitude a Gratitude Jar, a Gratitude Journal, and directly to others in person. I do my best to use all three tools daily. In addition, I make it a practice to say thank you after each entry in my jar or journal and interaction with a person.
Having the visual image of my gratitude jar and gratitude journal or the visual image of a particular person, reminds me of how much I have to feel grateful for in my life. Here is what I do every day:
Morning: I write three things I feel grateful for in my life on small pieces of paper then drop my slips of paper in my gratitude jar.
Afternoon: I reach out to someone and express gratitude for something they have said or done.
Evening: I determine three things I have to feel grateful for and write them in my gratitude journal.
All of us have moments of frustration and find ourselves complaining, so expressing gratitude may be difficult during these times, but not wanting to do so should not leave us feeling guilty. It may help if you try to notice when you are experiencing feelings of frustration and work to reframe your thoughts to find something to feel grateful for in your situation. Express your gratitude as best as you can using the appropriate method.
Here are three things that may help you get started with the gift of gratitude:
Understand what gratitude means to you.
Describe what makes you feel grateful.
List steps to make gratitude a practice for you.
During the holiday season, many of you may be among friends and family members. You know the ones who challenge you, the ones who drive you crazy, the ones you love, and the ones who support you. Or you may be alone. Whatever your situation may be, here are some ideas for expressing your gratitude.
Share a specific example of something someone did for you.
Write a handwritten thank you note.
Thank someone who helped you see things from a different perspective.
Feel thankful for a quiet moment with a cup of tea.
Feel thankful for even the smallest of things.
Expressing gratitude is a gift that keeps giving throughout the year. What step will you take today to express gratitude? Will you use a gratitude jar or journal or speak directly to a person?
May the gifts of joy, peace, and happiness be yours this holiday season.