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A Gratitude JournalThanksgiving is a holiday during which people come together to enjoy food, share conversation, and give thanks. Instead of limiting yourself to only being grateful on the holiday itself, you may wish to explore different ways of expressing your gratitude all throughout the year. From big actions like donating to a charity to smaller ideas like helping a neighbor carry groceries, there are countless ways you can give thanks and show your appreciation for all the good things life has brought to the table. To get started, consider some of these easy ideas.

Volunteer Your Time

During the holiday season, soup kitchens and homeless shelters see a huge uptick of volunteers. It seems like most people feel the spirit of the season and want to join in the effort to help the less fortunate. Sadly, this attitude does not continue throughout the rest of the year. Statistics show that between January and October, organizations aimed at feeding or sheltering the poor are almost entirely neglected by locals in the community. To make a real impact, consider volunteering your time to a charitable organization during the “off-season.”

Practice Listening

You don’t always need to take part in a larger activity to show gratitude to those around you. More often than not, simple actions speak volumes. Being a good listener is a skill that can strengthen your interpersonal relationships. When someone talks to you and actually feels heard, it tends to make you come across as a trusted and caring individual. If you love and appreciate the person who has decided to have a conversation with you, then offering your ear and undivided attention can be a beautiful gesture.

Be Considerate

Gratitude can take many forms. Often, recognizing that someone else has a different set of circumstances dictating his or her life can be useful for your own point of view. If you are running late to an important meeting, for example, be sure to inform the other people involved. It may not be well-received, but it is much better than showing up late without forewarning. This shows that you are considerate of other people’s time. On the flip side, learn to exhibit patience and compassion with those who run late or exhibit tendencies you dislike.

Actually Say Thanks

What’s funny about gratitude is that it is much easier to show than most people realize. The simple act of saying “thank you” to someone can do wonders. Usually, it is easy to take for granted the people you see on a regular basis. Still, learning to thank your parents, siblings, coworkers, or classmates can make them feel appreciated. The more you include “thanks” in your vocabulary, the easier it will be for you to show your gratefulness all year long. Plus, scientific studies state expressing gratitude has emotional benefits for both the giver and the receiver. 

Tokens of Appreciation

While buying someone’s love is definitely not an advised tactic, there is something to be said for picking up little tokens of appreciation for people you care about. When you’re at the store and see an item you think your significant other would love, purchase it as a little surprise. These gestures may seem small, but the fact that you were thinking about the other person is usually a powerful enough sentiment. Even with the holidays around the corner, tiny gifts are always appreciated.

Thanksgiving is not the only day of the year on which you should be expressing your gratitude. To live a more harmonious and balanced life, get into the habit of exhibiting your appreciation for the life you’ve been given. The more you practice these simple gestures, the easier it will be for you to show your thanks in a simple and effortless way.

Category: Society

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