8 Ways To Show Gratitude During National Gratitude Month

November is National Gratitude Month, which is a great time to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine and to give gratitude for all of the areas in your life that you are thankful for right now.
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November is National Gratitude Month, which is a great time to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine and to give gratitude for all of the areas in your life that you are thankful for right now.

Did you know research suggests that people who practice gratitude on a regular basis are both happier and healthier? It also helps disconnect us from toxic, negative emotions and helps us re-align to a more positive mindset to handle any stress.

Research suggests some of the following positive benefits to a life built on regular displays of gratitude:

  • A stronger immune system and lower blood pressure
  • Higher level of positive emotions and more regular joy and optimism
  • Stronger, more compassionate relationships

And with Thanksgiving at month’s end, it’s a great opportunity to show our appreciation for life’s offerings.

Not sure where to begin?

Here are eight easy ways you can add in an element of showing gratitude to your daily life:

  1. Gratitude Journal. Don’t worry, this doesn’t need to be a huge time commitment. Taking five minutes a day to jot down three to five things you’re grateful for can help keep the day’s challenges in perspective and/or set a good tone for the day’s inevitable issues. Then, take a few minutes at the end of every week to read through your journal and show thanks for the positive things you accomplished or were a part of.
  2. Tell someone. Doesn’t it feel good when someone tells you how much you mean to them or how lovely something you did made them feel? One great way to show gratitude is to tell someone you’re grateful for them or something they contribute to your life. This practice is not only beneficial for the receiver but also for the gratitude giver.
  3. Smile. Just like a yawn, a smile is contagious, so spread yours around. Show your gratitude by passing on a smile to those around you.
  4. Random Acts of Kindness. It feels good to give back without expectation of reward. Don’t wait for Random Acts of Kindness Day to give others a little pick-me-up. Whether it’s paying for the coffee order behind you in the drive-through, leaving a “you’re special to me” Post-It for your spouse or even dropping off a small gift on a friend’s porch, this can bring a smile to both your day and the recipient’s!
  5. Be present. Show your gratitude for a situation by showing up and being present. Put your phone and other distractions away and really listen and actively engage with where you are at the moment. This not only helps you take more meaning away from a situation, but it also helps others you’re with feel good.
  6. Highlight someone else’s strengths. Make others feel good when you’re with them by calling out something specific they’re doing that is making a positive difference. Everyone brings something different to the table, so help others realize talents they might not even know.

 

  1. Say thank you. Whether big or small, offering a heartfelt thank you can go a long way. Whether it’s for a job well done or the way someone has helped you directly or for a service they perform every day (and for which they aren’t likely thanked near enough!), saying thanks can help make someone’s day!
  2. Be there. Catching up with a friend, taking a few extra minutes to have a little conversation with a store manager, or making a quick phone call to someone who you don’t see every day is a great way to show gratitude and bring happiness to that person’s day!

Gratitude

Showing gratitude doesn’t guarantee a perfect or unchallenging life, and nor does it require one. Instead, it helps us affirm that there IS good in the world and forces us to recognize the positive even in the midst of a troubling or stressful situation.

Taking a step back during a tough time to focus on areas of gratitude can actually help you work through that situation more productively. Sometimes the source of goodness you’re grateful for can come from within yourself and can be a healthy coping mechanism to help bring those emotions to the forefront in order to deal with the situation at hand.

This can be a life-long skill that can be carried with you through both good times and troubling ones.

Often times, showing gratitude to yourself and to others is both easy and free and can boost a person’s happiness and health — so why not do it more?

Keeping some of the above tips in mind on a daily basis can become second nature if you start integrating some of them into your daily routine. Once you begin, take stock of how you’re feeling and see how it could be enhancing your daily life with more positive emotions and strengthening your relationships with others.

At LEAD, we encourage teens, youth, parents, and our community to practice gratitude for all of these reasons. This is just one area that can help support and promote positive mental health. By practicing gratitude and showing others how they can too, we are hoping to help build stronger, kinder communities together.

Need some inspiration?  Download our gratitude sheets here:

LEAD Gratitude Lists

LEAD Gratitude Lists

LEAD Gratitude Lists

Do you have any unique ways you like to practice gratitude in your daily life? Comment below and let us know.

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