We hear it all the time: Be thankful. Express gratitude. Inherently, we know the benefits of being grateful. Research backs this up with multiple studies showing that grateful people are happier, healthier, and have stronger relationships.
But knowing and doing aren’t the same, right? Just because we know we should be grateful, it doesn’t mean we always are. So how can you infuse your life with more gratitude? There’s a reason it’s called a “practice” of gratitude. We have to work at it. It’s easy to let negative thoughts and irritating situations overtake our days.
There’s no better time to practice gratitude than in November. It’s literally the month for giving thanks!
Here we’ve put together five simple ways you can cultivate gratitude in your life. Try doing one of these during the month of November and see how your attitude changes.
1. Keep a Gratitude Journal. Grab a blank notebook and write down something each day that you’re grateful for. These could range from something big like a loved one healed of an illness to something as simple as a warm cup of cocoa on a cold morning. In fact, focusing on those simple pleasures in life is a wonderful way to appreciate all you have. It can be easy to take for granted a roof over your head, the ability to get out of bed in the morning, clean water to drink, and a refrigerator full of food.
2. Start a Gratitude Jar. This is similar to the gratitude journal and it’s a terrific way to involve the whole family. Find a jar or box, and then write on a slip of paper one thing you are thankful for each day.
Fill the jar for a week, a month, or an entire year. Then pick a day to open the jar to read all the slips of paper. What a wonderful way to reflect on all the good things in your life! On a particularly tough day, open the jar and read a few of the papers for a boost in positivity.
3. Write a Letter of Thanks. Think of someone who’s had a positive impact on your life. It might be someone from your past or someone you see regularly now. Write a letter expressing your gratitude for what they have done or what they have meant to you. A email or text message counts, as would a special handwritten letter you send through the mail. It’s the expression of gratitude that counts!
4. Say Thank You. I know this might feel like a lesson from preschool, but it still holds true! A thank you to the cashier at the grocery store or receptionist at your next appointment could really make their day. If you have teammates or employees, handing them a short thank you note or just saying thank you in person could go a long way in showing them you appreciate them and their hard work.
Saying “thank you” is a simple gesture with a big impact.
5. Savor the Moment. Taking the time to slow down and live in the present is a wonderful way to shift your attitude toward feelings of gratitude and thanksgiving. It’s why here at Sakura Winery, we put such an emphasis on this idea of savoring the moment. We truly believe in hitting pause and soaking up the joy that’s around us.
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to hit pause and truly savor the moment? Use this month of Thanksgiving to allow yourself to slow down, be present, and soak up each moment. [We recommend doing this with a glass of our fantastic wine in hand but it’s not required!]
Please join our gratitude challenge and post a photo of your gratitude practice or how you’re savoring the moment. Be sure to tag @sakurawinery and use the hashtag #pausesipsavor. We can’t wait to hear what you do!