Having an attitude of gratitude will change your life. I know that it sounds like a big claim by there in indisputable proof that it works. I started a gratitude journal a sometime ago and it was a life changer. Here’s what I did, at the end of each day, I’d write down around 5 things that I was grateful for throughout the day. Then at the end of the day I would review them before going to bed.
We live in a society that thrives on the “more.” The more we spend time thinking about what we have that we love the more we’ll stop wishing things we don’t have. Don’t get me wrong; I still love shopping, but I appreciate the things I have in my own life a little more.
Kindness is gratitude shared!
Random acts of kindness are wonderful; conscious acts of kindness are powerful.
I committed to at least 5 conscious acts of kindness each day for two week, and like the gratitude practice, I kept a journal which I reviewed each evening. Reviewing the day, even when reviewing both journals simultaneously, took less than a few minutes.
You will find the results surprising- not that being generous will make you feel happy, that’s expected- but that the feelings last. The boost of happiness and joy will carry you far beyond the initial experience and have lasting effects on your overall well-being.
Moving from random acts of kindness (always a wonderful thing to do and experience) to conscious act of kindness leads me to the third tip and that’s service or volunteering. Being of service doesn’t necessarily mean grand act altruism, it can be, but it can be something as simple as sending someone a kind message or lending a hand with a small task; there are so many possibilities.
One additional tip, don’t continually write down the same acts, for example if you hold a door for someone don’t always write it down; by all means continue to do it, just don’t make it one of the 5 acts that you write down. This is because they lose their “potency” when they are repeated.
Volunteering is similar to serving others but tends to involve you in a larger community of people, the bonus in this is that it can lead to more relationships and supportive relationships are a major contributing factor for increasing happiness. Not to mention, volunteering usually brings out your greatest strengthens and talents, which the world needs.
So this thanksgiving, give yourself a gift by practicing gratitude, kindness and serving and volunteering. You will have a happier holiday and beyond for it!