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Thanksgiving: The Positive Effects of Gratitude

With Thanksgiving right around the corner we all begin to think of things we are grateful for. Did you know that gratitude can improve your sense of happiness, if you turn it into a regular practice? Feeling gratitude is something you do versus something you wait for.  Here are a few pointers on practicing gratitude.

☺ Don’t force gratitude. Build a place in your life for gratitude. Look for five things every day you are grateful for.

☺ Seek out simple pleasures and experineces and savor them.

☺ Avoid being cynical. If you are feeling lousy, don’t force a list of things to be grateful for that will come off as sarcastic or negative.

☺ Play the gratitude game. Find something unremarkable and spend time pondering why you can be grateful for that object or experience. For example, the power lines outside your window may be ugly, but they generate power to keep your family warm and comfortable.

☺ Don’t wait for a good day to be grateful. The power of gratitude is greatest on downer days. It takes added effort to be grateful when you are down, but the effort may actually help undo those bad feelings.

☺ Get help when you’re stuck. Ask someone to share something that they are gratedul for. Someone else’s gratitude may jump-start your own.