Monday, February 26, 2024

Ways to Show Gratitude this Holiday Season and All Year Long

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HISTORIC TRIANGLE — The holidays often are a time of reflection as many look both forward and back on the year and their lives.

Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships according to Harvard Medical School.

Reap the benefits and try these ways to show gratitude, not just through the holiday season, but all year long.

  • Keep a gratitude journal. Count your blessings and write down words of affirmation. When you reflect on the things in your life that make you grateful, you will see the small and big ways that positivity will affect your life. Then it becomes easier to share gratitude with others. This article contains advice and prompts for journaling, Gratitude Journal.
  • Volunteer to do a task for a friend or neighbor. Offer to run an errand or do a small task, such as taking a garbage can to the road for a neighbor. It does not have to be time-consuming or expensive to mean a lot. When you do good, good will come back to you.
  • Write a letter of thanks. Take the time to handwrite a note to thank a teacher, co-worker, or friend. Saying a word of appreciation with thoughtful words is always appreciated. Need tips on writing a letter of gratitude? Click here.
  • Small tokens of appreciation. Buy your loved one a small gift for no reason at all! How about their favorite candy? Or their favorite flower? Small tokens can also include cooking a favorite meal or giving up the television remote control for the evening.
  • Random acts of kindness. Hold a door for someone. Return the random shopping cart in the parking lot to the cart corral. Just doing one act of kindness can lead to others helping too. Ideas for random acts of kindness can be found through the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
  • Simply thank those who help you. Say thank you to the person who rang up your groceries, the man who moved out of your way as you jogged down the path, or wave at the car that let you cut into the line. However, this is not just for strangers, do not forget to say thanks to your friends and family too. Such as when your spouse does the laundry, or the kids pick up their toys without being told. Just acknowledging the act shows you appreciate it.
  • Talk, but also listen. Active listening shows respect and that you care about what they say. This article by Very Well Mind shares some tips for becoming a better listener, What Is Active Listening?
  • Give compliments and praise. Hang your child’s artwork on the refrigerator, tell your co-worker they rocked that presentation or high-five your teammates. It is an easy way to express gratitude and show you notice someone’s hard work.
  • Breathe in the moment. Stop and take a minute to see the beauty and love that surrounds you every day in things great and small and be thankful for those moments.
  • SMILE! Turn that frown upside down and smile. As Emily Dickinson said, “They might not need me, but they might. I’ll let my head be just in sight; a smile as small as mine might be precisely their necessity.”

Making the effort to understand and express gratitude can have a profound effect on yourself as well as those around you.

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