Happy Thanksgiving! Here are 5 Unexpected Benefits of Gratitude to Make Your Holiday Season Brighter

American Thanksgiving is a time to be mindful of what we are grateful for, and ideally, to share this with others! But the truth is, we can practice gratitude all year long.

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You probably already know that gratitude feels good to experience, but let’s take a look at five unexpected ways that cultivating an attitude of gratitude can benefit your life (and the lives of those around you) during this holiday season!

BENEFIT #1: There’s Always Something to Be Grateful For… and Gratitude Makes You Feel Good!

If you are reading the words on this page, then you have something to be grateful for.

You are living, breathing and taking the time to read something that will hopefully inspire you and, by means of that, doing something good for yourself! This alone is cause enough for gratitude. And more than likely, there are plenty of other things in your life to be grateful for too!

For example: right now, you can be grateful for having a roof over your head, fresh water to drink, having a job, friends, family, hobbies and so on.

Check out my 18 absolute favorite gratitude quotes here.

You can also look for small things in your life to be grateful for, too ‒ because they add up! Perhaps you can be grateful for the delicious cup of coffee in front of you, the fact that it’s a sunny day, or that you found a great parking spot just when you needed one.

The more things you find to be grateful for, the more joy and positivity you will experience in your life.

You can even practice gratitude for things that at first seem unlikely to be grateful for…

For example, no one likes carrying heavy groceries up the stairs. But what if you shifted your perspective to one of gratitude for you having the physical ability to walk up the stairs? Or for the delicious food you are bringing home? How would you feel then?

You have the power to decide how you view the world around you.

This week, as we celebrate American Thanksgiving, I highly encourage you to find something you can be grateful for multiple times a day, every day, and notice the positive benefits of gratitude you will enjoy.

BENEFIT #2: Gratitude Can Help You Move Through Adversity More Quickly and Easily

Practicing gratitude regularly does not mean you are not acknowledging aspects of your life that may feel difficult for you. Life can sometimes be challenging! But know that there’s a power within you that’s far greater than any circumstance, situation or condition you will ever face!

Financial woes, serious illness, painful loss –these are all very real and challenging circumstances you may encounter over the course of your life, or that you may be grappling with now. And it’s okay, and natural, to feel fear, doubt and worry!

But by turning your awareness to what you can feel grateful for, even during times of adversity, you can often pass through difficult times much more easily, and emerge stronger and happier on the other side.

One of the greatest benefits of gratitude is using it to learn from your mistakes. You can practice gratitude for the learning opportunities or mindset changes that result from challenging situations!

Perhaps you made a mistake at work or in a personal relationship, for example. Instead of getting down on yourself, try being grateful for what you have learned and how you have grown from the experience.

This may be easier said than done, but gratitude is a mindset we can choose in reaction to circumstances we can’t necessarily control.

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BENEFIT #3: Gratitude Is a Natural Confidence Booster!

Every single one of us has a negative inner critic. This is just part of the human condition!

However, in each and every moment, you have the power to shift your awareness toward what you love about yourself and your life (instead of what you don’t).

When you engage in negative self-talk, you will find more and more things to criticize yourself over. If you notice that you’re picking on yourself, one of the ways to pull yourself out of this is to focus on your strengths and blessings. Remember: You are the architect of your own experience!

Your preconceived notions about who you are and what you think you deserve directly impact your ability to create a life you truly love living. By replacing self-defeating internal dialogue with thoughts of gratitude, you put yourself on the path to believing that you are worthy and deserving of manifesting your greatest goals and dreams.

And one of the benefits of gratitude then, is that it can help you increase your self-worth. It’s a cycle: the more gratitude you express instead of criticism, the more positivity you will attract into your life, which will increase your self-worth… which will increase your overall vibration of gratitude!

BENEFIT #4: Gratitude Amplifies Your Abundance

One of the central truths of the Law of Abundance is that the more you are grateful for what you already have, the greater abundance you will attract into your life.

It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have, often believing that this will help motivate you to gain more of whatever you seek, whether that be financial abundance, closer and more loving relationships and golden job opportunities.

But the truth is, you can focus on both what you do have and what you don’t have, which can help direct your attention toward what you’d love to attract more of.

BENEFIT #5: Gratitude Deepens Your Spiritual Practice

A common misconception about gratitude is that it simply involves saying please and thank you – that it means leaving a gracious tip, or sending a thank you note for a nice gift. Obviously these things are kind gestures that we should not dismiss the importance of!

But gratitude isn’t just about being polite or having good manners… it is a deeper, more profoundly spiritual experience than that.

You and I live in a truly giving Universe, and gratitude as a real, spiritual practice recognizes this to be true in all circumstances.

You may tend to say “I am grateful for” something. For example, “I am grateful for my family.” Or “I am grateful for my nice house.” And this is wonderful! It’s great to feel and express gratitude for what we have.

But a more transcendent way of experiencing gratitude is to practice the mindset of “I am grateful IN.” This means being grateful right now, right where you are, regardless of what you do or don’t have or what life looks like for you right now.

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When practicing gratitude, try shifting your perspective to feel grateful in any circumstance. Practice being grateful in times of joy and abundance, as well as in times of struggle and lack – this is the key to spiritual gratitude that will absolutely unlock everything the Universe has to bestow upon you!

The Universe grants us what we receive directly in proportion to our willingness to receive it.

The difference between successful people living lives of abundance and joy, and those who may feel stuck or lacking, is that highly successful individuals practice gratitude regularly and sincerely.

The benefits of gratitude are countless: greater self worth, greater abundance, greater freedom, and a greater connection to Infinite intelligence that runs through all things, including you and I.

Practicing gratitude, both for what we already have and for what we desire, is a powerful step to transforming your dreams into reality, and creating a life you truly love living.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The Time I Felt a Lack of Compassion for Someone Who Was Struggling, And What I Learned From It

Have you ever judged someone without knowing the whole story behind why they were acting the way they were? Read this…

A number of years ago, after food shopping at a grocery store, I got into the checkout line to pay. The store was busy, and the line up to reach the cashier was long.

After being in the lineup for some time, I eventually noticed that the cashier seemed really grouchy and irritable with each customer she dealt with.

The customer in front of me, for example, told the cashier that he thought he’d been overcharged for an item she’d just rung in. The cashier rudely responded that he was mistaken, and the price he’d been charged was indeed the price of the item.

Learn to shift your thoughts toward success and away from doubt.

I thought, “Wow, his woman is so rude!”

When it came time to ring in my items, the clerk was short and irritable with me, too. I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to get out of here.”

The person bagging my groceries asked me if I’d like some help taking them to my car. I said “Yes, thanks!” feeling relieved to finally leave the agitated cashier behind.

As we approached the car and I opened the trunk, I turned to the young man and started to gossip…

“I think that’s the rudest cashier I’ve ever encountered in my life.”

The young man, who couldn’t have been more than 18 years old, looked to me and replied:

“Oh, I know. She’s having a horrible day. Yesterday, her son was hit by a car while riding his bike. He’s now in intensive care in the hospital. She wanted to be at the hospital with him, but she’s a single mom and couldn’t afford to take the day off. So she’s here.”

Instantly, my heart sank.

As I drove out of the parking lot and onto the street, and started heading back home to my four healthy kids, I imagined how it might feel to be in her position.

If one of my children was injured and was in the hospital, I wouldn’t have had to worry about losing a day’s pay… I’d be able to come and sit next to their intensive care bed.

And yet, I’d been judging a mother who didn’t have that privilege, because I didn’t know her whole story.

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The moment I knew her story, I couldn’t help but feel compassion for her.

I asked myself, “Did I really have to wait to hear her story before I could feel compassion?”

Most of us have heard the saying, “Be kind, for everyone is fighting their own battle.”

(And click here for more 18 of my all-time favorite gratitude quotes)

I began to think: “If it’s in my nature to be compassionate when I understand what’s really going on in someone’s life, even when they’re acting in a way that I might otherwise be inclined to judge… is there a possibility that I could learn to go straight to compassion without the judgement? Do I really have to know the whole story in order to feel compassion?”

I began to go to work on that.

I realized that everybody has a story, and even with a parent or my best friend, I will never know their whole story.

So I’ve learned that it’s best to start with compassion, even when you don’t know everything.

Over the years, I’ve found this to be a great spiritual practice.

Whenever someone is doing something that I want to judge or get defensive about, I remind myself:

“If I knew the whole story, I would feel compassion, so I’m going to go ahead and cut them some slack here.”

I call it “giving extra grace” to someone when I don’t know their whole story, but I do know that they have one.

If you have someone in your life toward whom you’ve been feeling impatient, annoyed or judgmental, you can remind yourself that you don’t know the whole story, and choose to treat them with respect and compassion.

The key to showing even more compassion for the people around you is to make it a daily practice.

Think about practicing compassion when you interact with others throughout your day…

Because even a smile, or a kind word, or doing an errand or chore for someone, can change their whole day and yours in such a positive way!

You can listen, suspend judgement, give your undivided attention, and mentally put yourself in their situation… remembering the whole person and knowing there is more to them than just a particular  interaction.

You can reflect on it at night in a journal or talk it over with family before you go to bed.  In this way, it becomes a part of your daily life.

As the Dalai Lama also said, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple. The philosophy is kindness.”

Practicing compassion is not always easy…

There are times it may be challenging to exercise your compassion muscle for certain people, and that is totally normal!

But you can give yourself a pat on the back for having compassionate intentions.

And Now, Let’s Take Action…

Learn How to Stop Procrastinating, Get Unstuck and Live the Life of Your Dreams

  • How your thoughts actually predict the course of your life and limit your ability to go after your dream, and how to shift your thoughts toward success and away from doubt.
  • The hidden reason you’re sabotaging your dream and keeping your life “smaller” than it can be, and how to instantly expand your ability to be creative, happy and successful.
  • Three simple and effective mental strategies to overcome doubt, fear and excuses and consistently move in the direction of your dream.

 

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Get Stronger Than Circumstances now and get on with living the life you would love!

 

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The life lesson I learned by getting mad at taxi drivers, airport security and missing my kids’ spring break.

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When the event was over, I wanted to get home as quickly as possible so that I could spend at least a day with my kids before they went back to college.

I’d already arranged to catch an earlier flight over the phone.

I thought everything was sorted out for me to arrive home early…

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