As Thanksgiving is essentially here, I feel that it’s important to take a moment and reflect on what you’re thankful for this year/right now/always. According to a recent study discussed by the Huffington Post, gratitude ‘is about ensuring the benefits of what comes next. It’s about making sure that tomorrow, and the day after, you will have something to be grateful for.’
Gratitude shouldn’t be something to think about just once per year, I feel that it’s important enough to be practiced on a daily basis. In fact more research has shown that people expressing daily gratitude ‘express a sense of gratitude appear to have stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure. They are happier, more positive and have fewer problems with loneliness and depression.’
Last year I kept a gratitude journal for a month, hoping that it would facilitate a change in attitude. Each day I recorded three things that I was thankful for, and as the month progressed I certainly felt a shift in attitude. Surprisingly, It wasn’t the ‘big’ things that always made me happy. In fact, I found that paying attention to the small, everyday things made me feel much better.
Nevertheless, here are some things that I’m thankful for this weekend:
My family. This is an obvious one, but certainly important nonetheless. Despite being 25 and not alway agreeing with my parent’s decisions. I know they care about me. (Something that constantly need to remind myself about in trying times).
My boyfriend. Currently, I’m really happy he’s home. I’m thankful that he’s always there to be a listening ear and although he may not always agree with decisions I make, he supports me. Also, I’m thankful for essentially having grown up with someone who understands me, and lets me be.
My friends. I have such a diverse group of friends, who have known me and grown with me through certain stages of my life. They’ve certainly helped shaped the person that I’ve become. While no friendship is ever truly that easy, working hard at a friendship is good and it allows you to truly recognize who your ‘true’ friends are, and who will be there for you when you need someone. Because inevitably, you will need someone. Plus, it’s always nice to meet up with a group of friends, be yourself, and have a good laugh – who doesn’t love endorphins?
My health. I incredibly thankful that I began running and practicing yoga a few years ago, it’s certainly increased my energy, and made me feel a lot better both physically and emotionally. I’m also very thankful about my education and how it’s helped me improved my heath and make better decisions about what activities I do, and what I eat.
I realize that these are all fairly common things to be thankful for, but still important to consider nonetheless.
What are you thankful for? How do you practice gratitude?