They say November is the month of gratefulness, and how it could it not be, with a holiday like Thanksgiving smack dab in the middle of it? The truth is, it can be easy to take the wonderful things in our lives for granted. It’s more difficult to take a step back and feel thankful.
Gratefulness is not something which comes naturally; it needs practice. If you want to live an altruistic life and practice thankfulness this month, check out these easy steps you can take.
Keep a journal.
One simple way to practice thankfulness is to write down everything you’re thankful for in a gratitude journal. This allows you to physically see the beautiful things in life all together, and feel the magnitude of their impact.
Keeping a gratitude journal over time also shows everything coming in and out of your life, such as new people, different adventures or even small interactions day to day. Write for 10 minutes every morning or evening and see how your views on thankfulness shift this November.
While writing in your gratitude journal, try meditating for a few moments. This helps you to practice thankfulness through meditation every day. It doesn’t matter whether your meditation time is long, short, spiritual or non-religious. Giving your mind quiet time every day will help focus your energy on things you’re thankful for.
While meditating, focus your thoughts on positive things throughout your day, week or month. Interactions with others, moments of good luck or new discoveries are all positive influences on our lives which we often forget to be thankful for.
Even difficult times can call for gratitude. Hard day at the office? Use the chance to change your thinking into something positive: a job which puts food on the table and supports your family. When we focus our thoughts positively, we show more gratitude naturally.
Listen to others.
Sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves, we forget about everyone around us with lives all their own. You can practice thankfulness for the people in your life by truly taking the time to listen to them and hear their thoughts. Show your spouse, children, family or friends what they mean to you by asking how their lives are going, and then listening for an answer. You may just be surprised at what you hear.
What better way to appreciate our own lives than to give back to others who are less fortunate than we are? Show thankfulness this month by giving back through volunteering, donating financially or pledging goods to people in need.
When we recognize the fortunes we have in our own lives, and then help others who may not have them, we practice thankfulness through giving.
This November, don’t wait until Thanksgiving to recognize the good things in life. Practice altruism through thankfulness, and recognize ways to be thankful for every day moments. Because when we practice thankfulness in our own lives, we unconsciously promote a more positive world with others.