Three Easy Gratitude Lessons

These acts can be incorporated immediately and will show appreciation for yourself and others.
01/16/2018 12:19 am ET Updated Jan 16, 2018
Dragana Popovic via Getty Images

How often do you give thanks? More than just during the holidays and on special occasions, we should all look around and say thanks. Daily, we should find gratitude in smiling faces, learning new skills and in seeing children grow older. Be thankful for the simple riches that each day brings. I am confident that we all can finish the following statement: I am thankful for…

1. The Power of Saying, “Thanks!”

How often do you get something handwritten mailed to your home? Not often enough! Regardless of how busy we all become, we can each take the time to write a thank you note and warm someone’s heart through a simple-but-personalized memo.

One of the most traditional forms of gratitude is a simple thank you note. A handwritten thank you note speaks volumes. It notifies the receiver that you took the time out of your busy schedule to think of them and put your thoughts to paper. It is appreciated more than sending an email which takes just a second and is done at the convenience of your mobile device. We all appreciate those who go above and beyond.

2. The Power of Inspiring Visuals: Vision & Gratitude Boards

Do you love the power of visuals? Great, then vision boards are for you! It will inspire you to take on what’s shown and it’ll push you towards your goals with the help of visual reminders.

Vision boards have become progressively more popular as an annual top of the year activity. Also on the rise are gratitude boards filled with photos of loved ones, noteworthy occasions, inspiring quotes and positive reminders of happiness.

On my gratitude board, you’ll find family photos, heroes, idols, along with my personal childhood photos to show growth, memorabilia and even simplistic sticky notes with affirmations and words of encouragement.

Gratitude boards are awesome because they can be an individual or family project. They serve as an excellent way to engage loved ones in a progressive and fun activity.

But if a board is too much of a commitment, incorporate sticky notes of gratitude. Simply place sticky notes in a jar or box, and by the end of the week, share it with family for a great bonding experience.

3. The Power of Reflection

A good ol’ fashioned journal never goes out of style because journals are limitless. You can write as much as you like and always refer back to read of your progress and growth. I recently read one of my journals from graduate school and ― my goodness ― there’s dramatic growth in every area of my life, and it’s empowering to reflect on it.

Journal: write it down, and read it later, recap and rejoice.

I know what you’re thinking: “who really carries around a journal nowadays?” But don’t forget the note function of a mobile device ― cell phones, Google Docs, iPads and such devices are the new journal. Any type of readily available technology will aid in sharing and documenting thoughts, ideas and feelings.

Don’t consider yourself to be a writer? No problem! Don’t be intimidated. You can begin journaling by simply writing about one or a few things that you’re thankful for and why. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro.

CONVERSATIONS