The Life-Changing Benefits of Showing Gratitude

Fall has always been one of my favourite times of the year. The autumn leaves are bursting with brilliant hues of orange, yellow, and red. The days are shorter and the air is crisp. Hello, cozy sweaters! And, let’s face it, there’s just something about that Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte that makes everything nice.

Oh boy, moving on…

Thanksgiving is a Wonderful Opportunity to Count Our Blessings

When we think of the fall and all of its beauty, Thanksgiving is one of the first holidays that come to mind. The day is often marked by turkey and pumpkin pie – a sit-down feast shared with the people we love. It’s a chance to count our blessings and give thanks for our good fortune throughout the year

While it’s nice that we’ve dedicated an entire day to giving thanks, I believe gratitude should be practiced every day. In fact, research shows that cultivating gratitude can have an enormous, positive impact on our quality of life, as well as on our social, emotional, and physical wellbeing.

Make an Effort to be Grateful Year-Round

Don’t get me wrong - I’m not suggesting that we’re ungrateful the other 364 days of the year, but I do think that our sense of gratitude is often relegated to the subconscious. In other words, we tend to voice our thanks only when something “big” happens in our day.

But what would happen if we deliberately chose to show gratitude every day – not just for the big things, but for the less obvious things as well. The things we’re grateful for don’t’ have to be grand or life changing; they can be something as simple as taking a walk in the park or receiving a funny text from a friend.

Appreciate the Small Stuff

Some days, even the most thankful among us can be hard pressed to pinpoint something we’re grateful for - especially when our days feel habitual and routine. Where’s the silver lining in that, right?

That’s why I’d encourage you to reflect, each day, on those little moments that made you smile: like the stranger who held the door as you were struggling with your toddler in one arm, and a load of groceries in the other. Perhaps you can reflect on the fact that almost every traffic light you hit on your way to work that morning was green.

No matter where you are in life or what struggles you may be facing, I believe you can always find something to be thankful for.

Cultivate a Life of Gratitude

When you choose to live a life of gratitude, you’ll be amazed at how your life begins to transform. Noticing and appreciating each day’s gifts will result in an increased level of alertness, enthusiasm, optimism, and energy. All of this will lead to an undeniable sense of joy, and help you to maintain a greater level of happiness, regardless of what else may be going on in your life.

The Soulful Balance Challenge - Keep a Gratitude Journal

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, so here’s my challenge to you: For the next 21 days, keep a gratitude journal – a notebook, piece of paper, or sticky note – where you write about your gratitude.

Begin each day by writing in your journal three things that you are thankful for. Remember, don’t just think about it – write it down. It helps to leave your journal in place that’s easily accessible, so you’ll be more likely to use it. I leave mine on my bathroom counter, for example. After doing some reflection during my morning shower, I simply reach over and jot down the three things I’m grateful for.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes. The worst that can happen is that you begin to feel an increasing, and irrepressible, sense of joy!

Today, I am grateful for all of you who have taken the time to read this blog post. #Blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Leave a Comment