As the year begins to wrap up, the holiday season brings a time of fellowship for you and your loved ones. Since many people live fast-paced lives, time is one of the most precious gifts around this season. We are often focused on how we can finish the year strong mentally, physically, and financially.
Finding more ways to be thankful can increase your productivity and health. Pause for a moment and take the time to discover more ways to be thankful this holiday season and beyond. Here are six small ways to help you practice gratitude while being thankful for the things and people that you already have in your life.
Use a gratitude journal
It can be a challenge to find free time to think about things clearly and without interruption. When we experience daily challenges, it can easily become frustrating and change the course of your day. Creating a gratitude journal at the start of your day is a powerful tool to center you. It provides you with time to think and reflect on the things and people in your life that you are thankful for.
“The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything.”
– Hannah Smith
Reflect on your milestones
Your active days can rob you of your time to think clearly and reflect on all the growth in your life. Throughout your journey, it is important to reflect back on the progress you’ve made. This gives you encouragement to continue moving forward and it helps empower you through plateau seasons of your life. Comparing where you are now to where you first began is always worth remembering.
“Sometimes we spend so much time and energy thinking about where we want to go that we don’t notice where we happen to be.”
– Dan Gutman
Approach challenges as learning lessons to develop your character
If anyone has lived even a moment of life, they have experienced some sort of challenge. No one, regardless of their job or family background is immune to going through pitfalls. However, your power is in the way you respond to these challenges. If you adjust the way you look at things, the things you look at will change. You have the choice to respond to challenges in your life as a reason to become bitter or better. Look at every challenge as a learning lesson and be thankful for the confidence, wisdom, and character you will receive when you overcome it.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Use visual reminders
What are some things in your life that you are thankful for? Is it your family? Are you thankful for upward mobility? Post pictures and other visual cues around you that will help remind you of what you are truly thankful for. Keep them close by in your wallet or even in your cell phone gallery.
“Gratitude paints little smiley faces on everything it touches.”
Think of out of the box ways to express your gratitude towards others. Giving to others can really help give a new perspective on life and remind you of the difference you can make. Getting creative also helps you to consider what you have that can be given to others via time and resources.
“Gratitude opens the door to… the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe.”
Spend time with those who matter most to you
One of the most influential ways to give you a heart full of thankfulness is to spend time with those who mean the most to you. Whether it be family or friends, quality time with those you love will help enhance your quality of life. Make the commitment to spend time with your loved ones this holiday season. The presence of others is something to always be thankful for.
“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”
Being thankful is the platform that gives gratitude a place to grow. While it’s important to continue to grow and strive for even higher levels of success, it’s equally important to commit to being thankful for our past experiences and everything we already have.
What are you most thankful for?
This is a post in partnership with Marsha Barnes, of the Finance Bar. Green Dot has supported her with compensation for her financial expertise and blog contributions.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Green Dot Corporation.