As we in the U.S. gather together with our families to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday, our thoughts turn to all the ways life is good, the loving people who surround us, and all the things we have and have access to that we have perhaps taken for granted the rest of the year.
Most of us know that practicing gratitude— making a conscious effort to remember gratitude each and every day—improves our overall sense of well being and happiness. So why don’t we remember to do it? Because life can be hard: those close to us fall ill or die, jobs and homes and health insurance are lost, our cars break down. When we’re struggling in one area, it can be difficult to remember all the things that are going well: the stranger who stopped to change our tire as we sat by the side of the road; the friend who stopped by “just to chat,” the wonderful variety of food stored in our refrigerator.
When we remember to let the little things count, they do. Beginning December 1st, WritingThroughLife will host a 31 Days of Gratitude campaign—a special page where you can share whatever it is you’re grateful for.
Until then, this week’s journaling prompts offer a place to begin.
- List 5 small things for which you’re grateful today.
- Write about one person in your life and the gifts (tangible and intangible) that person brings to you.
- On this day, what is the one thing you are most grateful for—that one thing you would not want to do without? Write about that thing/person/place and include all the people who helped to bring him, her, or that into your life.
- Make a list of 100 people, events, or things you are grateful to have (or to have had) in your life. Yes, you read that right: one hundred.
- Review your list of 100, noticing and circling which items engender the most powerful emotions. Write about one or more of those circled items: why is it so important to you, and why are you grateful?
- List 5 small ways you can share your gratitude with others.
- List 5 people in your life who are difficult to get along with. For each of those people, write a list of 3-10 qualities for which you’re grateful. Be sure to tell them how you feel