Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. is Thursday. People look forward to huge meals (anchored by turkeys), parades, football games, and holiday shopping. Are we letting the “thanks” in Thanksgiving fade away?
The trappings of the holiday (the food, the sports, the entertainment, the gathering of loved ones) came about as outward manifestations of the gratitude the Pilgrims felt at making it to a point where they weren’t facing starvation and death.
I was organizing my thoughts for this piece, thinking about all that I am thankful for when it hit me: one day of gratitude is not enough.
Yes, it’s nice to have a day to relax and reflect on the blessings of life, but the many little things that make life good should be celebrated continuously.
I was crawling around under the house the other day doing “maintenance” that quickly turned into a fiasco. I was becoming increasingly frustrated and angry. I was close to the screaming point when this thought popped into my head: “At least you have a house to crawl under and the health to be able to do it.”
It was amazing how quickly my anger and frustration fizzled away.
When I concentrate on the good things that life offers, it really is tough to wallow in negativity. Mona, my dog, has no patience for negativity. When I start feeling sorry for myself, she looks at me, wags her tail, and seems to say, “Don’t just sit there! Play with me.”
A positive outlook, created with a gratitude attitude, makes life healthier and more fun. So, here are some of the things I am grateful for on Thanksgiving Day and every day:
- Family and friends who love me
- A comfortable home filled with good memories
- Fur babies who keep me busy (and sometimes sleep deprived)
- The ability to explore new ideas and new things
- My health
- Work that is fulfilling
- A sense of humor
- Good, nutritious food
- The freedom to think, act, and live without oppression
- A phone conversation with my father
- The inherent goodness of people
How do you cultivate your gratitude attitude?
2 thoughts on “How a Gratitude Attitude Makes Life Better”
I agree. One of the practices I’ve started is expressing my gratitude on random occasions when I feel it. For example, maybe I’m randomly using a tool that someone gave me years ago, and it’s still very helpful. Maybe next time I see the person who gave it to me, I tell them “Thanks again for giving that to me a few years ago. It’s still helping me a lot.”
Often times people do something once that has a lasting impact on our lives, and I think there’s merit in reminding someone that what they did in the past continues to be a gift to this day.
I’ll have to remind myself to do that. What a nice way to reciprocate the gift!
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