The Power of Thankfulness: 5 Essential Tips

The Power of Thankfulness: 5 Essential Tips

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
G.K. Chesterton

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
Robert Brault

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

This week many of my readers will celebrate Thanksgiving.

So I thought it would be a good time to share a handful of my favorite tips for making thankfulness a daily part of life.

Because being thankful for what you have is one of the simplest and easiest ways to lift your mood. To give your motivation a jolt. And to live a happier life.

No matter who you are or where you live in the world.

1. Pause and look around yourself.

A simple first step to being more thankful is to pause during your day and ask yourself these two questions:

  • What are 3 things I can be thankful for in my life today?
  • Who are 3 people I can be thankful to have in my life and why?

If you don’t come up with 3 people and 3 things each day then that is OK. One thing or person is great too.

But if you can, try to not repeat yourself too often.

Instead, think of more people and things to be grateful for to, day by day, expand your thankful view of your world.

2. Express your thankfulness.

Don’t stop at just coming up with people for whom you are grateful to have in your life.

Take a few seconds to tell them about it. This will make their lives happier. And as their faces light up with a smile you’ll feel happier too.

Now, that gratitude could just be a small sentence. But it can have a big impact on someone’s day, week or even life.

So be sure to make the small effort to express it.

3. Look towards yourself too.

It is not only things that are important. Or other people.

You are important and valuable too.

So appreciate that.

Ask yourself:

What are 3 things I can be thankful for about myself?

It could be that you were a good sister during a crisis last week. It could be that you finally got done with that boring or difficult task you had been procrastinating on.

Your self-gratitude does not have to be all about achievements.

You can simply be thankful for your good sense of humor. Or the help you give your friends and family by being a good listener from time to time.

And the thankfulness doesn’t have to be about big things either. It could simply be about the fact that you floss for a couple of minutes in the morning.

4. Be thankful for the things you may take for granted.

The things we get very used to having can become things we take for granted. But they are not things everyone in the world has access to.

A few such things that I like to reflect upon and feel very thankful for having are:

  • A roof over my head and a warm home.
  • Plenty of drinkable water.
  • That I don’t have to go hungry.
  • Being able to enjoy the small and free pleasures of life.
  • Access to the internet so that I can learn and connect with people.

I have found that being grateful for things like these are especially helpful to zoom out and to put my situation in perspective when I am going through a tough time in life.

5. Start or end your day with thankfulness.

To make thankfulness into a habit that sticks find a regular time for it in your day.

For example, you can start your day in a good way by finding 3 things to be grateful for about yourself over breakfast.

Or you can take a few minutes in the evening, just before going to bed, to use a journal to write down 3 things you are grateful for about your day.

Try a tiny time commitment like one of these and see what impact it has on your life.

 

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehack, The Huffington Post and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

97 comments… add one
  • Darbz

    I am grateful and thankful for reading positive things in our predominantly negative world.. May you have your best day ever!

  • Cynthia

    Being consciously thankful on a regular basis is truly a gift worth cultivating! It shifts your perspective and really makes a difference! Thank you, Henrik!

  • Alyce

    Thank you Henrik for sharing your positive thoughts.
    They have given me hope and joy! May God bless you.

  • Henrik
    All your mails are very helpful, all very positive.
    This about thankfulness is very good.
    All the best
    Luis

  • Pamela

    Your work has changed my life .the last 18 months have been simply dreadful and painful illness distressing. I read your notes many times and my smile and thankfulness returns. Bless you.

  • Gratitude is one of the best things that can help you in passing through this journey of life.

    Really learnt few things such as thankfulness – we have to be thankful to God for giving us this life and it is now our duty to help others and service humankind for living and making this world a better place to live in.

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