How to Be Thankful All Year

Happy Holidays, Superheroes!

Here at SuperheroYou HQ, we love the holiday season. Lights, presents and good food? Sign us up!

But we also know how important it is to take a moment to appreciate all the love and blessings we have in our lives.  That’s a sentiment worth fighting for, and it’s a spirit that should be in our lives everyday, not just from Thanksgiving to Christmas. This isn’t just our spiritual health, but for our physical health too. Dr. Robert Emmons, a leading expert on gratitude and author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, has found that grateful people exercise more, sleep more, and are 25% happier. But these benefits work only for those who ‘intentionally practice’ gratitude. So we’ve collected ways for you to remember to be grateful, every day of the year.

1. Keep a gratitude journal.

You may have noticed some of your Facebook friends listing something they’re grateful for on each day of November. But keeping a gratitude journal can be a year-round and private effort. Each night, write 3 ordinary things you are grateful for – like your health.

2. Keep perspective.

One reason it’s important to intentionally practice gratitude is because our minds have a tendency to focus on the negative in our lives, crowding out the positive. But sometimes it’s important to remember the bad – to look back and see what you’ve overcome, or to look at the blessings you have that thousands of people on this planet don’t. Try volunteering to put your struggles in perspective.

3. Write Thank You letters.

The obvious kind is good, like when someone gives you a gift or writes you a job recommendation. But how many times do we thank the people in our lives who are most important to us? Write letters to them detailing how grateful you are for their presence in your life. If you’re shy, you don’t have to mail it to them, although they’ll love it. If you’re really brave, meet and read it to them in person.

4. Pick a moment.

Are you the kind of person who keeps a journal religiously for 2 weeks, then forgets about it for 2 months? If a journal’s not for you, set up a gratitude ritual instead. Once a day or week, set aside a few moments to be present, aware of your surroundings and grateful for all you have. This ritual will be easiest to incorporate into a previous zen like habit, like a weekly yoga class or a morning cup of tea.

5. Pray or meditate.While you don’t need religion to be grateful, gratitude is one of the cornerstones of almost every religion. If you’re not religious, there are several ‘prayers’ and meditations out there that help you be grateful each day. Here’s one we love from Zen Habits:

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,

If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something

For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.

During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations

Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge

Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes

They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary

Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are

also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles

and they can become your blessings.

– Author Unknown

What are you thankful for, Superheroes? How do you show this gratitude each day? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Credit: © woodsy007 via iStockPhoto

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Happy Holidays, Superheroes!

Here at SuperheroYou HQ, we love the holiday season. Lights, presents and good food? Sign us up!

But we also know how important it is to take a moment to appreciate all the love and blessings we have in our lives.  That’s a sentiment worth fighting for, and it’s a spirit that should be in our lives everyday, not just from Thanksgiving to Christmas. This isn’t just our spiritual health, but for our physical health too. Dr. Robert Emmons, a leading expert on gratitude and author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, has found that grateful people exercise more, sleep more, and are 25% happier. But these benefits work only for those who ‘intentionally practice’ gratitude. So we’ve collected ways for you to remember to be grateful, every day of the year.

1. Keep a gratitude journal.

You may have noticed some of your Facebook friends listing something they’re grateful for on each day of November. But keeping a gratitude journal can be a year-round and private effort. Each night, write 3 ordinary things you are grateful for – like your health.

2. Keep perspective.

One reason it’s important to intentionally practice gratitude is because our minds have a tendency to focus on the negative in our lives, crowding out the positive. But sometimes it’s important to remember the bad – to look back and see what you’ve overcome, or to look at the blessings you have that thousands of people on this planet don’t. Try volunteering to put your struggles in perspective.

3. Write Thank You letters.

The obvious kind is good, like when someone gives you a gift or writes you a job recommendation. But how many times do we thank the people in our lives who are most important to us? Write letters to them detailing how grateful you are for their presence in your life. If you’re shy, you don’t have to mail it to them, although they’ll love it. If you’re really brave, meet and read it to them in person.

4. Pick a moment.

Are you the kind of person who keeps a journal religiously for 2 weeks, then forgets about it for 2 months? If a journal’s not for you, set up a gratitude ritual instead. Once a day or week, set aside a few moments to be present, aware of your surroundings and grateful for all you have. This ritual will be easiest to incorporate into a previous zen like habit, like a weekly yoga class or a morning cup of tea.

5. Pray or meditate.While you don’t need religion to be grateful, gratitude is one of the cornerstones of almost every religion. If you’re not religious, there are several ‘prayers’ and meditations out there that help you be grateful each day. Here’s one we love from Zen Habits:

Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,

If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something

For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.

During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations

Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge

Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes

They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary

Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.

A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are

also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles

and they can become your blessings.

– Author Unknown

What are you thankful for, Superheroes? How do you show this gratitude each day? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Credit: © woodsy007 via iStockPhoto

Written by Sasha Graffagna

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