Practice thankfulness

Practice Thankfulness

“When you practice gratefulness, there is a sense of respect toward others.” – Dalai Lama

During the holidays our thoughts are often filled with turkey, pumpkin pie, and Black Friday sales. Let’s also fill our thoughts with thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation.

During the holiday weekend and every day, here are some simple ways we can practice thankfulness:

* Give thanks. Say “thank you” to the people you meet – bank tellers, store clerks. Leave “thank you” sticky notes for people in lunch bags, lockers, or on desks. Write a “thank you” letter to someone you haven’t seen in a while, like a former teacher, a fire station, or your family doctor.

* Daily 5-minute thankfulness. Set aside 5 minutes every day to stop, breath deeply, and appreciate the good things in your life.

* List the ABCs of gratitude. has an interesting activity for the whole family: for each letter of the alphabet, take turns contributing something for which you are thankful – from apples and April showers to zebras and zucchini.

* Start a gratitude journal. Look for things in your life to be grateful for, and write them down in a journal or online diary. Oprah Winfrey writes down five things she is grateful for ever day, from simple pleasures like “eating cold melon on a bench in the sun” to big achievements. Greater Good suggests writing in your gratitude journal just once or twice a week to boost your happiness, and offers more tips for keeping a gratitude journal.

* Create a thankful book. Add drawings, photos, magazine pictures, doodles, receipts, and other memorabilia to a blank journal. Ask family and friends to create their own gratitude pages and hang them on the wall. For kids, the Scholastic website has a free “I Am Thankful” printable booklet that lets them add their own drawings and photos.

* Begin a gratitude jar. Any glass, plastic, or aluminum jar can become a gratitude jar. Fill the container with gratitude notes on slips of paper. The Somewhat Simple blog has a beautiful “Give Thanks” gratitude jar, with printable Thanksgiving writing prompts. You can even give a gratitude jar as a gift.

Thankful pumpkin patch

* Share your thankfulness. Last Thanksgiving, I created a colorful “Thankful Pumpkin Patch” poster. I gave everyone a pumpkin cut-out, asked them to write something they are thankful for, and taped it to our thankful patch. Another year, I painted a simple “Thankful Tree” poster and passed out autumn leaves for people to write the things they were thankful for.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? What are you thankful for this year?

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2 Comments on “Practice thankfulness”

  1. Jennie Says:

    aloha Rachelle – In doing some search on local charities, I came to the realization that there are so many wonderful ones, and their various Facebook pages reflect their energy and wonderful projects within our community. Thus, I’m grateful for the resources, including time, that so many volunteers and supporters have devoted to local groups.

    We have a thank you poster up on our Facebook page:

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