10 Ideas to Live with More Gratitude

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, all of our hearts go out to those who have lost so much. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it seems like a good time to inject a healthy dose of gratitude into our lives. Here are 10 simple ideas to get started:

1. Give thanks. Make it a point to look people in the eye and say thank you every day for a week (to begin with). As you do, you’ll be surprised at how often we rush about our lives without taking a moment to let others know that their help, no matter how significant, is appreciated.
2. Post your thanks. Many people are using social networking to express their gratitude this month. Every day share something online with your friends and family that you are grateful for. You might start a happy chain reaction.
3. Give what you can. If you weren’t affected by the hurricane,  give thanks by giving what you can. There’s no easier way than to text “REDCROSS” to 9099 to donate $10 to hurricane relief efforts. (The donation will be charged to your cell phone bill.)
4. Go old fashioned. Purchase a package of Thank You cards the next time you are at the store. Make it a goal to fill them all and send them out before Thanksgiving. Nothing beats a hand-written note (or a freshly baked treat).
5. Think in needs versus wants. As you go about your day, ask yourself if the things you seek are needs or wants. Most of us are blessed to have most if not all of our needs met, and spend a lot of time pursuing wants. Focus on being grateful for what you have and let go of that feeling of want.
6. Go retro. Think back on your life and ask yourself if there was someone who deserved your thanks, but never got it. Take time to look them up and express your appreciation.
7.  Start a gratitude journal. Psychologist have long touted the positive effects of keeping a gratitude journal—simply jotting down three things you are grateful for each day. It helps fight depression and stress.
8. Volunteer your time. A local school, church, or charity could always use an extra set of helping hands. Ironically, giving your valuable time to others always leaves you feeling like you’ve come out ahead.
9. Get in touch with nature. Take time to spend a few minutes outdoors each day, even a brief walk on your lunch hour. Breathe in fresh air and reflect on the good parts of your day.
10. If you love them, tell them. Sometimes those closest to us get the least amount of appreciation. Make a point to express your love and gratitude to your close friends and family. Let them know what they mean to you.

How do you live with gratitude? Share your ideas in the comments section.

{Image via yogatoday.com}

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