I know, I know. Cheesy. Of course we will talk about thankfulness…it’s November! There’s a holiday that revolves around it! Cliché. But hear me out.
Despite having a holiday that forces us to be thankful, most of what I hear and read lately is anything but.
Everyone is extra busy. Fall sports and activities have end of season tournaments and banquets, there are school performances, parties, and projects due. Work evaluations, planning and meetings galore. Families are pulling you in every direction trying to make holiday plans, and 97% of people are full speed ahead towards Christmas while you’re still trying to reconcile all of the Halloween that just happened. The weather is messing with our health, energy levels, sleep and routine. There seems to be more illness, hardship, tragedy and scariness at the moment. We are stressed, agitated, exhausted and overwhelmed.
It makes sense that we are a bit more snippy, sensitive, or just plain negative.
Here are a few things I have found to be true:
Negativity breeds negativity.
Finding the positives can make the worst seem bearable.
Having a positive outlook can truly bring about change.
It builds resilience.
It’s energizing and motivating.
It is research-backed.
It just feels better.
Like with any habit, gratitude grows easier and more natural over time. Start with the obvious. Do you have a roof over your head? Food to eat? Clean water to drink? People you love and who love you back? Friends you can confide in? Money that pays the bills?
Think of the things that are stressing you out and see if you can put a positive spin on it. Those kids who are wearing you out and are possibly the source of much of your complaining? I bet they were also among the first to pop into your head when you thought of what you were grateful for in the first place! That job that stresses you out? Thankfully it’s helping you stay afloat! That overbooked schedule? Beats the alternative!
Simply taking a moment at the beginning and/or end of each day to think of three things you are grateful for is all it takes to develop the habit and create a positive change in your mindset.
Some days, you may literally be grasping to find things to be thankful for (air), but you will find how easily the gratitude will begin to flow. You will more clearly see the good in people. You will find yourself attracted to other positive people. You will be more inspired to be the good. You will give more grace. You will feel less burdened. You’ll smile more. You will feel lighter.