It’s November and like me, you’re probably thinking Christmas . Just kidding – well, sort of. With all of the Christmas advertisements and wonderful holiday movies on Hallmark and other channels, it can be easy to ignore the landmark holiday of November (in the U.S.) – Thanksgiving!
Two of the wealthiest countries in the world are the United States and Canada. One thing that they have in common is that both nations celebrate a national holiday of Thanksgiving. This powerful tradition reminds us of what is amazing in our lives and in our world. It also sets the stage for what comes next in our lives both individually and collectively.
What we choose to focus our attention on increases in our lives. In a world of social media, commercials and an overall fast paced society, there are many avenues competing for your attention. This makes it very easy to allow your attention to be drawn in ways that you would not intentionally choose.
By intentionally choosing gratitude, we can limit destructive patterns in our lives as well as foster those experiences that we desire more of.
Easy – set up a gratitude routine that works for you. You know yourself best and if you can make this process a joyous one then you can reap the benefits for years to come.
Some suggestions include:
1. Gratitude journaling
2. Play the Happy and Grateful Game
3. Set a reminder, notification or alarm
As the name suggests, create a Gratitude Journal and write in it for five minutes or so each day or night. Pick a consistent time that works for you and take a moment to set an intention before you begin writing. As you begin to write, allow your mind to wander and focus on those things in your life, both large and small, that bring you joy.
It may go something like this, “I am so happy and grateful for my loving family. I am so happy and grateful for my warm bed and the movie that I watched this past weekend. I am so happy and grateful for indoor plumbing, this would be a cold night to use an outhouse.” Relax, have fun and let go.
Related Post: Be Happier This Month! A 30 Day Gratitude Challenge
THE HAPPY AND GRATEFUL GAME
Our family loves this game and we play together often at dinner time. We take turns going around the table stating one thing that we are happy and grateful for. The number of rounds varies on the night and we give each player an equal number of turns.
It goes something like this:
Player 1 – “I am so happy and grateful for this wonderful meal and our family eating together.”
Player 2 – “I am so happy and grateful for Nintendo wii.”
Player 3 – “I am so happy and grateful for finishing my homework so that we can watch a movie together.”
You get the idea.
SET A REMINDER
Pick your favorite app and simply schedule a time for your daily gratitude intentions. Just make sure that you keep it light and fun.
Regardless of which exercise you choose or if you create one of your own, here’s the trick: if it feels like work, then it ultimately will not work. When evaluating this nuance, be sure to separate the feeling of effort versus the feeling of work (i.e. something that you begrudge doing). This practice may take effort. In fact, most studies reveal that it takes 20-30 days to successfully create new behavioral patterns.
This is a wonderful season to reflect, to learn, to give and to receive. Gratitude is a wonderful intention that makes you feel wonderful and is a sure way to receive more of what you desire in your life. Cultivating a gratitude practice is a gift that you can give yourself and those around you that will have a wonderful impact on all who are involved.
Make a commitment to intentionally being grateful each day for the next 30 days and see the results for yourself!
What are you grateful for?
Do you have a gratitude routine? What is it? Please share so that we can all learn and benefit.
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