Cultivating Gratitude

Thanksgiving is almost here.

I love this time of year.  The food. The decorations. The sales.  Oh, wait, isn’t this supposed to be about being thankful?

Ask most people what they are thankful for, and they will answer “family and friends.”  I would.  All to often though, if we take the time to really notice and be honest, we find that we are not expressing that gratitude nearly as often and effectively as we could.  This is unfortunate.  So how can we express gratitude for the people in our lives?

First, notice something that someone did (or did not do).  -Husband took out the trash.  -Child did not hit sibling.  -Friend asks you if you need anything at the store since they are heading out.

Second, say thank you.

Third, say why you are thankful.  ”Thank you for bring out the trash.  I know it is not your favorite thing to do, and I appreciate your help with the housework.”  ”I noticed that your brother took that toy out of your hands.  You may have felt like hitting him when he did that.  Thank you for using your words and asking for it back instead.  That really shows how mature you are becoming.”  ”Thank you for asking if I need anything.  That is really considerate of you to offer.  I do need some bananas, and was trying to figure out when I could go.  You are such a thoughtful friend to think of me.”

Fourth, repeat.

Practice this until it becomes second nature and notice how your life changes.

Peace and calm,



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2 Responses to Cultivating Gratitude

  1. Rrenato says:

    Feeling like you this year I’m semi-veg (still eat fish) and my family is alwyas worrying about what to make that I can eat. When what they should worry about is what they should be thankful for. (they do give thanks, but its not the main thing in their minds during that holiday) oh well this year I’m really emphasizing the thanking part.Thanks Ryan a great thanks giving day to you!

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