It is important to take a step back and be thankful for all the blessings you have received and the good parts of your life. It is human nature to complain and focus on the bad. So we have to purposely try to be positive and focus on the good things. Everyone has SOMETHING to be thankful for and it is a good idea to show that gratitude to others.
3 Reasons Why it is Important to Show Gratitude
First, showing gratitude fills a certain part of your heart and soul. It gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside that makes you feel good. It helps you continue to show gratitude and pay it forward to others. People who show gratitude reguarly are generally more happy.
Second, showing gratitude helps you become a positive person. It is good practice to look at life thru a positive lens. Try to view situations as “ the glass half full versus half empty.” Positivity is contagious and will rub off on others around you. It is the type of person people want to be around. Think of 2 of the most positive people you know. Don’t you enjoying being around them and feel good around them? Moreover think of 2 pessimistic people – isn’t it hard to be around them at times? What kind of person do you want to be?
Finally, it is important to practice gratitude and show your kids the importance of gratitude. Life definitely presents its challenges, but situations can always be worse. There is always someone worse off than you or going through something more difficult than you. So often people dwell on the negative parts of life like broken relationships, bad health, lack of money, friend that has a better job, co-worker a bigger house, and a neighbor with a happier family. When life gives you lemons you have to learn and practice how to make lemonade.
We often work hard to give our kids things we didn’t have or a life we wanted as a kid. They need to understand that life does have challenges and how to be thankful and show appreciation even in difficult situations. We need to practice positivity and gratitude so it becomes second nature. Then when a tough situation arises our positivity and optimism can help us get through.
How to Show Your Gratitude
One way that my husband and I share our gratitude with each other is with weekly gratitude slips. Every week we each write down one thing that we are thankful for that has brought us joy or happiness that week. Then we put them in a tall glass vase and on New Year’s Eve we go through all 100 slips from the year.
This small task we do each week serves two purposes. First, it causes us to stop once a week and be thankful for something in our life. Often times more than one thing comes to mind quickly so it ends up being a short list on the slip. It always puts a smile on my face when I am thinking of my joys and writing them on my paper. Second, when we are reading the slips on New Year’s it is very humbling to go through. It reminds us of all the joy and happiness in our lives.
So you can get your gratitude on, I have a free printable for you! Now you can use the same fun gratitude slips my husband and I use each week. Write down your joy and happy moments and enjoy reading them at the end of the year. Click here for free gratitude printable slips.
If your kids are old enough have them join you. Have everyone write their slip after dinner one night a week. Then when you read them at the end of the year have everyone guess whose slip it was. Ready set go gratitude!
Thank yous Thank yous Thank yous
Every month I pick one person to write a small hand written thank you for. It could be a coworker, a friend, family member, daycare worker, church member, or a neighbor. Also, it could be someone that provides some kind of service for you like the mail carrier or hair dresser. I either mail it out, or put it in their mailbox if at work or church, or leave it by their purse/items next time I see them. My last resort is handing it right to them. I like it to be a little bit more of an unexpected surprise for them.
Usually once a year I go to the dollar store and pick up a couple of packs of thank you cards so I have a variety to choose from. Some are blank and some have a little saying in them already. This way I can choose what is right for the situation. It is important to show your gratitude for others.
More Ways to Show Gratitude
Next, I practice gratitude in the car with my 3 year old. Even though he is only 3, on the ride to or from work/daycare we talk about 3 things we are each thankful for. Sometimes I have to give him prompts so we cover more topics than just toys, food, and family. But, at 3 years old he is learning to be thankful and show gratitude.
Another way to acknowledge gratitude is by going on a gratitude walk. Talk a walk with your spouse, a parent, sibling or friend. Take turns sharing what your are thankful for. Listening to others share gratitude can trigger more examples for you and make you aware of things you had not thought about before.
Finally, for Christmas this year my aunt got me a gratitude journal. It is a small book where you write down gratitude notes and then you can look back at past dates what you wrote. I am looking forward to filling in this journal this year and see how it goes. In the end, gratitude is an important part of life and a key ingredient to being a positive person. Find ways to incorporate gratitude into your schedule and I guarantee it will make an impact on your life.