During this time of year, everyone talks of giving thanks. But one of the greatest gifts of the season, is taking the lesson of gratitude and finding ways to implement them into your everyday life. I’ll admit it. I can get so caught up with the rush of things that I can be neglectful of the gifts I’m given daily. But taking the time to express thanks and gratitude is one of the best ways to not only help create a world that is good, but create a sense of inner peace.
So how do you build the lessons of the season into a daily practice? There are small expressions of gratitude that can be worked into a daily ritual. Some of them take only a moment while others require a larger time commitment.
Here are my Expressions of Gratitude for 365 Days of Thanks
Expressing Gratitude to Others
There are all things you can do for someone else.
Hold open the door –
It only takes a few seconds to hold the door open for another. Small gestures of kindness can brighten someone’s day. Opening the door is a simple way of acknowledging another.
Donate your extras –
A cluttered home is never good. And one of the best parts of cleaning house is giving. Donate your old books to a library, that old dresser to Goodwill and have a clothing exchange with your friends.
Give compliments –
Spread positive energy into the world. Think about what you genuinely appreciate in others and then let them know. There are many people who are only used to hearing the negative. Surprise someone by telling them the positive.
Smile at others –
Smiles are contagious. And while nobody should be forced to cover up a bad mood with the facade of happiness, a genuine smile can really brighten another’s day. Smiles help us feel connected in an isolated world. So take a moment to smile and spread the cheer.
Donate blood or register to be a bone marrow donor –
The best part of this is that you can be put in a situation to save someone’s life. Donating blood is a simple process. Bone marrow is a bit more complicated. Doing either will increase the chance that a person in need will find a match.
Be a courteous driver –
Let someone in who needs to change lanes. Don’t beep at another driver just because you’re angry. Don’t cut someone off. If you wouldn’t treat someone in a certain way while face to face, don’t do it in your car. There is still a human being behind the wheel.
Give a positive review –
Have a business or a service provider that you love? Let the world know by singing their praises online. Not only will it give that business a well-deserved boost. It will help others discover something amazing.
Perform a random act of kindness –
Bring coffee with you go to your next appointment. Hand out lotto cards to those who’ve made your day brighter. Little acts of kindness are a wonderful expression of gratitude. Just the act of giving can make a person understand that they are valued.
Call someone in need –
Don’t just comment on someone’s Facebook status when they are going through a hard time. Surprise them with an actual phone call. We’ve all grown more isolated as social media has become a primary source of interaction. A phone call can provide connection and comfort for someone in need.
Leave a generous tip –
The difference between a lousy tip and a generous tip can often be just a few dollars. Show gratitude for service that exceeds expectation by surprising someone with a little extra. You’ll be a bright spot in someone’s day who was also a bright spot in yours.
Shout out the good things –
We see story after story about the bad actions of others. When someone treats you well or you witness something positive, share it. Heartwarming stories shouldn’t just be told during the holiday. They brighten people’s days all year round.
Expressing Gratitude to Ourselves
These are all things we can do for ourselves!
Quiet the negative –
Take a one week challenge of not saying anything negative about yourself. When you catch yourself in a negative thought, backtrack and start over by saying something positive. You can’t control the bullies in the world, but you can stop yourself from being one of them. Self-respect is one of the best forms of self-gratitude.
Schedule a date with yourself –
Take some time to do that thing you’ve been craving to do. Give yourself a manicure, take a bubble bath or just spend an hour or two reading that page turner that’s on your list.
Put sleep time into your calendar –
Once of the best ways to show gratitude to your own body is to schedule time for sleep. Sleep deprivation makes everything more difficult as well as damages your health. Set up alerts in your phone to remind you when it is time to wind down for sleep and follow-through with your intention.
Stress can take a horrible toll on your mind and body. Meditation is a wonderful way to quiet the chatter, let yourself relax and help yourself find comfort in just being where you are on any given day.
Journal the positives – Why deprive yourself of acknowledging all the good that has come your way? Writing down the good things can make them more real. So take some time during the day to mark down your gratitude for everything positive that has happened.
Eat 5 servings of vegetables daily –
Your body is your greatest asset. Without it, you wouldn’t exist. So demonstrate your gratitude by feeding it health promoting foods. That way your body can keep you alive and healthy for many years to come.
Create a home spa –
Take a bubble bath. Drink water with slices of orange and cucumber. Put a warm towel with a couple drops of lavender over your eyes. Let yourself know that it is ok to make yourself a priority and take the time to relax.
Spend time in nature –
We can start feeling so disconnected from ourselves from hours spent with our nose in technology. Help yourself become centered by spending an hour or two outside in nature. Build a snowman, jog or take a relaxing walk. Spending time outdoors can leave you rejuvenated and with a clearer mind.
Share your talents and passions with the world –
You’re naturally instilled with many gifts. One of the best ways to express gratitude for these gifts is to share them with the world. The world becomes better with everything you share.
The best part about expressing gratitude? It is good for your health as well as the health of those for which you are grateful. Have a favorite way to express your gratitude. Of course, let me know in the comments below.