This time of year can be very stressful and we can sometimes lose sight of all the blessings we have been granted. This time of year it’s tradition to give thanks and be grateful for everything we have, but the real challenge is to continue to be thankful for the entire year to come. Here are a few tips from author Philip Friedman to implement into your daily life that will help your family continue to be thankful.
Start a family gratitude routine.
It’s easy to jump on the complain-train when things are going south, and it’s tough to find the good in a less-than-perfect day. But counting the positives will pay off, so start a new family tradition. Every evening, have everyone in the family share three good things about their day, and do it before you start griping about work or traffic jams. You’ll see that there are plenty of large and small blessings to choose from. If you practice gratitude every day, after a while it becomes second nature.
Find the sunny side of your stresses.
Build your gratitude skills by looking on the positive side of your daily frustrations. Instead of thinking, “I hate all these work deadlines,” tell yourself, “I’m exhausted from work, but I’m blessed to have an interesting job that pays well.” Rather than sighing because you have to rush from a kids’ playdate to a holiday party, say, “It can be stressful having such a full schedule, but we’re so lucky to have all these good friends!”
Consciously shifting your mindset will make it easier over time to be a thankful person. Best of all, it’s contagious. When you maintain a positive attitude, you’ll attract upbeat people and experiences.
Be thankful for things that haven’t yet happened.
It’s great to show gratitude for the blessings you have today. Now go one step further by picturing all the good things that still lie ahead.
Once a week, close your eyes and imagine that you’re standing on a carpet of gratitude. Then imagine that you’re walking down the carpet past all the wonderful experiences that await you. By thanking the universe for blessings in advance, you’ll develop a sense of gratitude even when things don’t seem to be going your way.
Don’t keep your thanks to yourself! Post a gratitude statement as your status update on Facebook or Twitter every week. Examples: “I’m grateful my son got the teacher he wanted for 4th grade. He can’t wait to go to school in the morning!” or “Just enjoyed some yummy risotto. I’m so happy my husband is a great cook!” Your Facebook friends will like and comment on your status, reinforcing your gratitude attitude.