Janet A Johnson's Business and Lifestyle Blog

Gratitude: Why it’s Not Just for Thanksgiving

Posted: November 13, 2018

Gratitude is strongly associated with greater levels of physical and mental health. People who are inclined to express their gratefulness tend to have a more positive worldview and maintain stronger social networks. The fact is, they are more pleasant to be around. This positive mindset does not require one to ignore unfavorable world or personal events, much of which is difficult to control. It is simply a  decision to maintain a healthy atmosphere regardless of circumstances outside of our control.

Being grateful allows us to appreciate the things we have instead of focusing on the things we lack.  An individual who is grateful recognizes that favorable outcomes are often the result of personal effort, as much as they are reliant on factors outside of self.  Getting in the habit of expressing gratitude, before, during and after the Thanksgiving season is a wonderful way to improve overall health and a general sense of well-being.

Ways to Express Gratitude

There are many ways that anyone can show gratitude. Expressing this feeling on a regular basis will help to strengthen relationships, reduce stress levels, and improve the way you view your life’s trajectory.  Do not take it for granted that people around you automatically know the extent of your appreciation.  Be as earnest as you like when expressing your gratitude, and cultivate this habit through practice if it is not one that comes naturally. Practice these 4 strategies consistently you are off to a good start:

1.  Embrace the Convention of the “Thank You Note”

Thank you notes may seem like an anachronism in the age of emails, instant messages, and impersonal contact. The point is to find a way to show appreciation. From time to time I give “shout-outs” on social media so don’t be afraid to use any and all communication medium appropriately. However, don’t overlook the tried and true convention as it is still a wonderful way to show your appreciation.  A thank you note maybe hand-written for increased personalization, but can also be typed and emailed once the message of gratitude is written with sincerity.  It may be written to someone who continues to be a source of great help and inspiration, to a loved one that has passed on as a means of therapeutic release, or you may even write one to yourself as a reminder to be grateful for inner strength.

2.  Create a Gratitude Log or Journal

Start a daily or weekly exercise of writing down all the things that you are grateful for. Create a narrative that makes each entry more memorable; describe incidents or events that triggered this deep sense of gratitude in as much detail as you like. I revisit my journals from time to time and the first thing I recognize is growth, and I am always encouraged about the journey of life.

3.  Mentally Take Note of the things of Which You are Grateful

Reflect on the things which stir your gratitude. You can achieve this with thoughtful meditation and deep introspection.  The more you think about the things which you truly appreciate in your life the more positive your outlook becomes. A positive outlook lends itself to a better social experience. It also helps with stress management and you will find that, over time, you will not sweat the small stuff.

4.  Count on Prayer

If you are a strong believer in prayer use it as a tool to express thankfulness.  Focus less on your wants and desires when praying. Instead, shift your attention to the appreciation of the things you have.

As the season changes, be reminded of the need to be thankful for all that the preceding period has brought. Also, never forgot the people that have made a positive impact on your life. Regardless of the situation, there is always something worthy of our gratefulness.  The more genuine the response of gratitude, the greater the likelihood you will suffer fewer negative thoughts, feelings of sadness, anxiety and emotional instability. I encourage you to embrace a grateful mindset year-round, you won’t regret it!

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Janet A Johnson

Hi, I am Janet A Johnson a Management Consultant and Life Coach with over 15 years strategic program/project management and business management experience. I am the owner of StrategyNook LLC, a consultancy agency specializing in strategic project management, business management, web development, branding, internet/social media marketing, life coaching and stress management. Schedule your free consultation today and let's talk strategy and customized solutions.

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