How to Infuse More Gratitude Into Your Life, Guaranteed

It’s pretty easy to wake up on Thanksgiving more concerned about getting the turkey in the oven and cleaning the house than with being thankful or giving out that thanks, as the name of the holiday would imply.

Holidays are huge opportunities for us to consume more. Buy a bigger, better turkey, wrap it in a bacon sweater, get the latest smoker, and pile your table with such a variety of side dishes that everyone is uncomfortably full after a bite of each.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday just because of all that; I love to cook and I love leftover trash sandwiches just as much. That being said, a strong sense of gratitude is even more satisfying and lasts a lot longer than even the largest Thanksgiving spread.

Genuine thankfulness reinforces the glass half-full optimism associated with perseverance and success. It increases our happiness, is associated with a general sense of well-being, and is highly correlated with physical health. Take that a step further and express our appreciation to others and we instantly feel more energized and increase our sense of empathy.

Thankfulness is a well-documented key to success. Grateful leaders who share and role model appreciation and empathy gain the trust and respect of their followers, who will gladly stick it out through the good and the bad because of their loyalty and sense of belonging. Grateful parents raise emotionally intelligent and secure children. Grateful entrepreneurs attract the very opportunities they need from their connections and develop mutually beneficial relationships that will carry their fledgling companies to success.

There really is no limit to the positive impact on our lives, yet it’s often the most neglected habit, which is why interacting with truly thankful people is such a treat.

The surest way to infuse that sense of gratitude into your day, and your life, is to give to others. 

The method of giving matters little, although getting your hands dirty and truly working to change someone’s life for the better will surely instill more empathy and thankfulness than giving $20 online. However, therein lies the simplicity of giving: anyone can do it.

We don’t need to be wealthy, donate extremely limited free time, or travel to a disaster area to have an impact. It can be as simple as telling someone, in no uncertain words, what an immense, positive impact they have on your life. Just this simple action will stir up a wealth of emotion, infusing gratitude in ourselves and those we connect with.

The critical element is to give, creating that opportunity to experience just how fortunate we are. We take so many wonderful aspects of our lives and relationships for granted, which is when we are most susceptible to losing them.

Take the opportunity today. Share with someone just how important they are to. Give to a cause you are passionate about. Create a tradition of expressing thankfulness amidst the yams and stuffing.

9 Comments
  1. Hi Emily,

    I’ve been spending more time on your site and reading through your archives, and I have to say I’m really inspired by what you’ve done and are continuing to do. Your story of leaving your high profile corporate job and actively creating a life based on your true values resonates very strongly with me as someone feeling at the edge of wanting to make a similar change.

    And this post on gratitude seemed like an appropriate place as any to leave you a comment to say thanks for sharing the inspiring path you’ve taken, as well as the fantastic content you’re posting here. I’m looking forward to getting through all of your posts!

    Cheers,

    Jason

  2. Emily, I suck at giving but, like you say, anyone can do it. Thank you for the reminder. I am taking out five minutes from my day to see where I can volunteer an hour this week.

  3. Thanks for the article today Emily! I’m thankful to have found your blog, inspiring me to now start my own, slowly but surely:) Have a great Turkey Day with your family!

  4. Thank you for this, Emily. I teared up in considering how grateful I am for my family and what my life would look like without them. Time to go tell them…in no uncertain words, tears and all. Happy Thanksgiving!

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