By Doreen Rainey
As we come upon the Thanksgiving holiday, people begin to talk a lot more about gratitude. They slow down and take time to think about all the goodness around them. Some
traditions include going around the dinner table and each person sharing what they are thankful for.
But studies show that constantly acknowledging what’s working – what’s going well for you – can improve your level of happiness, joy and fulfillment – even in the midst of challenges. This level of gratefulness goes way behind this time of year and also isn’t based in materialism.
Experiments conducted by Dr. Robert Emmons indicate that participants in the gratitude condition felt more joyful, enthusiastic, interested, attentive, energetic, excited, determined and strong” in addition to offering others more emotional support or help. The gratitude participants reported sleeping better, had increased positive feelings and life satisfaction, and were 25% happier overall than before they began the experiment.
This shows us that being grateful shouldn’t be a seasonal event, but a life long habit. As we move beyond this holiday season and into a new year, here are some suggestions for staying grateful.
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Everyone has probably heard this at one point in their lives – but most don’t do it. I have been guilty of starting and stopping – getting too busy. But the reality is that it doesn’t take that long and I am finding that the benefits far outweigh the time it takes to do it.
Each morning before you start your day, grab your notebook (or iphone or ipad app!) and write 5 grateful statements that simply begin with “I am grateful for…” This can be especially helping when dealing with stressful situations. At a job you hate but can’t leave? Complete that sentence as it relates to your job each day.
2. Help Someone Else
We all have the ability to lend a helping hand. What does that look like for you? Maybe it’s a donation to a charity. Maybe it’s volunteering your time. Perhaps it’s lending your expertise to someone at work. Or, it could be a daily simple random act of kindness.
3. Say “Thank You”
For the small, and big things, that others have done for you – drop them a note, give them a call, or send them a token of thanks. There may be people who have impacted your life for the better who are not aware of how their words or actions made a difference for you. This is the perfect time to acknowledge them. Each day, make it a point to say thank you to someone.
However you choose to be grateful, don’t let it end when the turkey is eaten, the lights are put away and the decorations come down. Find a way to remember the wonderful things that are a part of your life – daily.
RADICAL Success Coach Doreen Rainey helps her clients Get RADICAL – by defining success for themselves and getting the guts to go after it. Get her FREE RADICAL Success Starter Kit at http://www.doreenrainey.com.