“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has” (Epictetus)
Ancient philosopher, Epictetus, knew that gratitude puts everything into perspective. It enables us to see the blessings around us. The more we give thanks, the more things we find to be grateful for.
Modern science agrees with Epictetus. Studies have revealed that people who write letters of gratitude feel fewer symptoms of depression and feel happier and more satisfied with life overall. People who take time to focus on the positive gestures of their partners are more connected and satisfied in their relationship. People who practice gratitude for 21 days or more find their mental health and wellbeing increases. Gratitude also leads to better sleep and more energy.
Of course, gratitude takes practice. For many of us, we must create an attitude of gratitude one day at a time. In this season of thanks and giving, try this 12-day trial of being grateful to put yourself on a path of thankfulness.
Day 1: During a meal, be thankful for the food by relishing each bite with all your senses.
Day 2: To thank a business for their good service, recommend it to your friends.
Day 3: Appreciate natures gifts by incorporating some of them into your home decor.
Day 4: Sit with your pets and let them know how grateful you are to have them in your life.
Day 5: Select something you use every day and acknowledge how it helps you.
Day 6: Give thanks for peace and all the peacemakers in your life.
Day 7: Write a letter or email of appreciation to someone who has inspired.
Day 8: Express your gratitude to a good friend by giving them a small token.
Day 9: Donate to a charity with a note of your appreciation.
Day 10: Do a chore or run an errand for a neighbor.
Day 11: Thank your spouse or significant other for being in your life.
Day 12: Give thanks for your good health when you rise in the morning.