November: A Month to Practice Gratitude

By Leah Brignall

As we make our way into November and the holiday season, many of us will be thinking about the things we are grateful for. Every year people take the day of Thanksgiving to sit down with loved ones and reflect on all we have in life. This year, I challenge you to practice gratitude every day. What are you thankful for? Is there something extra special about you that you are happy to be able to share with others? What opportunities are you grateful to have? Spending time to purposely show gratitude might just make you a happier person!

The article The Link Between Happiness and Gratitude explains how counting your blessings might affect your mood. One experiment mentioned is to consistently write down things that you are grateful for. Studies have shown that exercises like this have led participants to feel happier over-all. Whether you are listing three things or five, and whether you are doing this daily or weekly, it still seems to have a positive influence.

Not only is it said that this tends to make people happier, but it can also help people deal with stress. During the holidays it is easy to get stressed. There is so much to do and plan. Friends and relatives come to visit, there are trips to take and presents to buy. There is just a lot going on and most days it is easy to overlook all of the blessings in life. Try writing down what you are grateful for this holiday season and see how it makes you feel! Does it help relieve some stress or make you feel happier?

If you are feeling extra ambitious, take a few minutes to write a letter for gratitude to someone else. Explain to them why you are grateful for them or something they have done. You can send them the letter, read it to them, or just keep it for yourself. Many times taking time to appreciate someone else helps to boost your own happiness as well as theirs. This month make it a goal to fill your life with gratitude.