So often I catch myself thinking, “I wish I had that… I wish I could buy this...I wish I could be like her.” Our life is constantly perpetuated by images of unnecessary materialistic things and unrealistic body shapes. This imagery subtly makes us believe that we need this consumerist stuff. “I need a new pair of boots... I need an unlimited gym membership... I need to drink my coffee out of this cool cup.” It all seems pretty silly when we step back and look at it from a bird's eye view. In the end, what brings us true, genuine happiness are the people who fill our lives with joy and love. Let’s remember all that we have to be grateful for...
The People-Centric Gratitude List
1. Someone who makes you laugh.
When was the last time you busted out laughing with this person? What is it about this person’s words or personality that makes you happy?
2. Your mother (or a mother figure in your life)
What comfort and nourishment has she provided for you?
3. Your father (or a father figure in your life)
What support and guidance has he provided for you?
4. Your family
Near and far, no matter how dysfunctional, what about your family makes them special to you?
5. Your roommate, neighbor or someone who lives in your community.
What acts of kindness has this person showed you?
6. Your boss
How does this person help support and guide you? What lessons have you learned from this person?
7. A co-worker
What is one thing this person does to help get you through the work day?
8. Someone who always has your back
When was a time when you knew this person would be there for you?
9. Your partner
What is valuable about your partner? What do you appreciate about the relationship you have with each other?
10. A favorite teacher or professor
What did this person teach you?
11. A stranger
When was the last time a stranger showed you a random act of kindness?
12. The people you are spending Thanksgiving with
What do you think is special about spending time with these people on Thanksgiving?
Think of a child you know that brings you delight and cheerfulness.
14. The elderly
Think of a senior that has imparted wisdom to you.
15. A favorite character from a novel or TV show
What about this character do you love?
16. A doctor, therapist, trainer, etc.
How this person helped you to improve your health?
17. The armed forces
Express your thanks for those you know and those you don’t know who have served.
18. A best friend from college or grade school
What is a favorite memory with this person?
19. A person you shared a meal with
When was the last time you shared a meal with somebody, and what did you enjoy about this experience?
You do SO much every day. Your body does SO much for you every day. Hug yourself and love yourself!
I don’t have to spell out the science about gratitude for you here. After reading through this list, or even one prompt that stuck out to you, you’ll notice a smile on your face and a warmness in your heart.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal can serve as a helpful reminder to express gratitude consistently so that this feeling inundates your daily life to improve your levels of happiness and contentment. There are many different ways to keep a journal. You can try writing down one small thing every day, or maybe once a week write something longer. You can make a ritual of writing down your gratitude at the end of the day, or maybe keep a pack of sticky notes with you and write down what you’re grateful for as it happens. Find what works for you, and be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!
Image credit: Loren Peta