Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Are you feeling a little challenged by the state of affairs in the world and the country? Between a global pandemic that is not abating (at least in the near term), and the bizarre and unprecedented political maneuvering surrounding the post presidential election, it is understandable how one might feel somewhat out of sorts. It's like being the main character in a twilight zone episode. But, the good news is help is just one spiritual solution away.
Thanksgiving reminds us there is one practice that can help us navigate through these tedious times. That practice is gratitude. Gratitude is emotionally powerful. It can dramatically transform our perspective to live a higher quality life experience regardless of the external world.
The human experience's bane is that it often complains about what's missing and what's not working, rather than giving thanks for what it does have and what is right with life and the world. We can turn this way of being completely around with gratitude. Gratitude has several benefits including increased optimism, more progress toward goals, greater connection to others (even in this virtually connected world), and better and more restful sleep.
So, if you want to feel right-side-up in this seemingly upside-down world, consider making one or more of the following gratitude practices a routine part of your life:
1. Every day write down in a simple notebook something you are grateful for. They can be ordinary moments, qualities you like about yourself, or people you value.
2. Remember how you overcame the challenging times in your life. Celebrate how far you have come and appreciate it.
3. Tell a person you love them and how much they are appreciated.
4. Take time to notice the everyday beauty of nature.
5. Write and speak aloud a gratitude affirmation. It can be along the lines of, "I am thankful I can learn, develop, and grow.”
6. Appreciate the miracle of being human by giving special attention to your ability to touch, see, hear, taste, and smell - marvel at how wondrous that is.
7. Find something to laugh about. If you can’t find something at the moment, laugh on credit. It’s free.
8. Speak words of gratitude, particularly good things others have done for you.
9. Smile often.
10. Practice an act of kindness. It's incredibly powerful when you can do it without the person knowing it was done by you.
11. At least one day a week, make a conscious decision not to complain about anything. Watch as your gratitude meter goes up.
12. Practice being in the moment. Don't worry about the past or fret about the future.
13. Send positive energy to a person you don't like. This may be challenging, but give it a whirl and appreciate how powerful you indeed are.
14. Be thankful when you learn something new.
15. Build your gratitude muscle by looking for the good in what appears to be an adverse circumstance or situation.
We can all contribute to creating the world we want to see since the world out pictures our group's soul. When enough of us make gratitude a way of life, the world we live in will be a better place.