Day 19 – What are you grateful for?

I'm always grateful to see a beautiful sunset!

I’m always grateful to see a beautiful sunset!

Wow, this month is flying by, huh?!  It’s day 19 of  31 Days of Healthy Ways to Enjoy the Holidays More and today’s tip is to spend a few minutes thinking about what you are grateful for.  I know we just had thanksgiving a few weeks ago but studies show that people who focus on the good in their lives feel happier than those who focus on the negative so I think it’s important to make gratitude a regular thing.  Most of us have a tendency to focus on what isn’t going well.   While it isn’t easy to pull your head up when things aren’t going well, trying to remember what you have, instead of what you don’t have, can make things look a little rosier.

Acknowledging what is good in your life, doesn’t mean that you’re going to stop trying to change things for the better or that everything is perfect, it just means that you are aware of all that you have. It doesn’t mean that you can’t vent about the bad things (especially when you are going through a lot!).  I have my struggles but ultimately I feel very lucky because I have a warm and safe home, a kind and hardworking husband, good health and supportive family and friends.  That’s not so bad!

Take a few minutes today to think about what is positive in your life.  What or who are you grateful for?  Was there something good that happened to you today?  You can write it down or tell someone.  Sometimes saying things out loud makes a bigger impact.

If you feel like expressing gratitude isn’t easy for you, or if a dark cloud seems to be following you around try this longer term exercise:

Keep a blank journal on your nightstand and every night before bed, write down three things that happened that day that you are grateful for.  Simple things are fine.  For example:

1. I’m grateful for the sunshine today
2. I’m grateful for my reliable car getting me to where I need to be
3. I’m grateful for good coffee

Try it for three weeks.  Your general outlook on life will improve and you will find it easier to see the good.

I know I have a lot to be grateful for this holiday season.  I hope you do too!

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