Have you spent the last few weeks shopping for gifts and wrapping the gifts and buying food to serve guests and maybe even splurged on a new party outfit? Then you need to stop for a minute and be grateful that you’ve been able to do all those things. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the rush of the holiday but you need to take a minute, stop and simply be grateful for the year’s blessings.
Oprah, who knows a thing or two about gratitude and how to be happy, said it best: “Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” If you’re grateful for all you have but don’t know how to express that gratitude, rejoice—as we’ve offered a few suggestions on what you can do to show your thankfulness.
1. Talk About it with Your Kids Parents teach their children everything from how to hold a fork to riding a bike. You’ve also got to teach them it’s important to be grateful for what they have. Explain in terms they can understand that others don’t have it as well and show your kids how to pay it forward by giving to those who have need.
2. Make it Part of Your Romance You know you love each other, but are you remembering to be grateful for the significant other in your life? Gratitude doesn’t have to be anything fancy, though the occasional small gift won’t hurt. Say thank you once in a while, give a hug for helping with the dishes and let the other person know that you are thankful for their presence in your life.
3. Make it Part of Your Playlist Better yet, make a gratitude playlist of music for the special people in your life. Make it light or make is serious but look for songs that express gratitude and the joy that comes from having them as part of your world.
4. Always Defer to Oprah Though she owns a draw full now, we know Oprah wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Oprah has never been afraid to look back on her life and finds reasons to be grateful for all that she’s achieved. Reading about what makes Oprah grateful, might remind you to be thankful too.
5. Read About it as a Family There are many books that talk and teach about gratitude and how to be happy. As you read them with your children, spend a few minutes and talk about what you’re grateful to have in your life and ask your kids what makes them thankful. You might be surprised by their answers.
6. Make it Your Happy Maker It’s easier to be happy than grumpy and it causes a lot less frowns. Look around you at the things that make you happy and express your gratitude for the joys in your life. Maybe it’s your family; maybe it’s a mocha latte, whatever; just be grateful for the blessings in your life and concentrate all your energy on those.
7. Use it to See the World Sometimes you don’t know how good you have it till you see others that have less. Travel to underdeveloped nations or the poor areas in developed ones, will give you perspective on just what it is that makes your life good. Get out of your comfort zone and see the world around you and do what you can to improve everyone’s life.
8. Write it Down to Keep Yourself Up If you’re not sure what it is that makes you thankful, make a list. Buy a notebook and pledge that each day you will find at least five things that you can list for which you are grateful. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to fill up that notebook.