Thanksgiving: Attitude of Gratitude
Thanksgiving. Yes. Whether it be friends, family, a fulfilling career, a worthy cause or purpose in life, or the smell of the evening breeze coming off of the ocean, this world is abundant with opportunities to practice the now infamous attitude of gratitude.
Much has been written regarding the gratitude phenomenon that has swept through the blogosphere and podcast worlds, and every major lifehacker, biohacker, and self-optimization guru has written extensively on the subject over the years. To the science of gratitude and the fact that it works wonders, I have nothing new to add. Practicing gratitude promotes psychological and physical well-being, makes one happier, healthier, and less prone to illness and disease, etc.. This much we know. If I could add anything new to the discussion...
Imagine if we treated every day as though it were Thanksgiving.
Of course, I am not talking about the pomp and circumstance of holidays and so forth, but of the quiet thoughtfulness of genuine gratitude that should make up the bulk of our brainwaves on this day of Thanksgiving. I would like to encourage those not currently practicing gratitude on a daily basis to start doing so and to do it starting tomorrow (I will assume you took the time to think about all that you are thankful for today). Whether it be a gratitude journal, daily prayer or meditation, or some other form of deep thought, start doing it now, make it a habit, and do it every day.
In my Pick Six article I highlight my six daily rituals for personal growth and development, and while I did not include expressing gratitude as a particular routine, I do practice it daily as a part of my writing, meditation, reading, or Proverbs chapter of the day. Perhaps one day I use the writing ritual to journal about things I am grateful for; on a different day, I might meditate on the good things that life has to offer.
Tomorrow is the day after Thanksgiving, but gratitude is something that we can and should practice every day. As I mentioned in my New Year's Resolutions article, let us not wait for the new year to better ourselves, for each day is an opportunity for a New Year's Resolution. Thus, let us not wait for a yearly Thanksgiving holiday to pause and reflect deeply on all that we are thankful for - let us practice an authentic attitude of gratitude daily; the benefits of doing so far outweigh the cognitive "work" needed to make the habit stick!