During this time of year, everyone talks of giving thanks. But one of the greatest gifts of the season, is taking the lesson of gratitude and finding ways to implement them into your everyday life. I’ll admit it. I can get so caught up in the rush of things that I can be neglectful of the gifts I’m given daily. But taking the time to express thanks and gratitude is one of the best ways to not only help create a world that is good, but create a sense of inner peace.
So how do you build the lessons of the season into a daily practice? There are small expressions of gratitude that can be worked into a daily ritual. Some of them take only a moment while others require a larger time commitment.
Expressing Gratitude To Others
1. Hold the door open
It only takes a few seconds to hold the door open for another. Small gestures of kindness can brighten someone’s day. Opening the door is a simple way of acknowledging another person.
2. Donate your extras
A cluttered home is never good. And one of the best parts of cleaning house is giving. Donate your old books to a library, that old dresser to Goodwill and have a clothing exchange with your friends.
3. Give compliments
Spread positive energy into the world. Think about what you genuinely appreciate in others and then let them know. There are many people who are only used to hearing the negative. Surprise someone by telling them the positive.
4. Smile at others
Smiles are contagious. And while nobody should be forced to cover up a bad mood with the facade of happiness, a genuine smile can really brighten another’s day. Smiles help us feel connected in an isolated world. So take a moment to smile and spread the cheer.
5. Donate blood or register to be a bone marrow donor
The best part of this is that you can put in a situation to save someone’s life. Donating blood is a simple process. Bone marrow is a bit more complicated. Doing either will increase the chance that a person in need will find a match.
6. Be a courteous driver
Let someone in who needs to change lanes. Don’t beep at another driver just because you’re angry. Don’t cut someone off. If you wouldn’t treat someone in a certain way while face to face, don’t do it in your car. There is still a human being behind the wheel.
7. Give a positive review
Have a business or a service provider that you love? Let the world know by singing their praises online. Not only will it give that business a well-deserved boost. It will help others discover something amazing.
8. Perform a random act of kindness
Bring coffee with you go to your next appointment. Hand out lotto cards to those who’ve made your day brighter. Little acts of kindness are a wonderful expression of gratitude. Just the act of giving can make a person understand that they are valued.
9. Call someone in need
Don’t just comment on someone’s Facebook status when they are going through a hard time. Surprise them with an actual phone call. We’ve all grown more isolated as social media has become a primary source of interaction. A phone call can provide connection and comfort for someone in need.
10. Leave a generous tip
The difference between a lousy tip and a generous tip can often be just a few dollars. Show gratitude for service that exceeds expectation by surprising someone with a little extra. You’ll be a bright spot in someone’s day who was also a bright spot in yours.
11. Shout out the good things
We see story after story about the bad actions of others. When someone treats you well or you witness something positive, share it. Heartwarming stories shouldn’t just be told during the holiday. They brighten people’s days all year round.
The best part about expressing gratitude? It is good for your health as well as the health of those for which you are grateful. Have a favorite way to express your gratitude?