It's Thanksgiving! Time to go around the table and ask your family members what they are grateful for. In that moment - hungry for turkey and mashed potatoes - we briefly reflect on our blessings. Why do we wait for this one day to do this? There are simple ways we can carry that positivity and gratitude into our lives each day.
Smile more often.
It sounds easy, but take a moment each and every day to reflect on how much you smiled. Genuinely smiled. What did you do that made you happy - or what happened so that you didn't grin as much as you wanted to? Focus on what brings you true joy and try to make time for it each and every day - even for just a few moments.
Keep a gratitude journal or notebook.
It doesn't have to be formal, and it doesn't have to be fancy. (But it can be if you want it to be!) Keep notes or a journal and jot down what you are grateful for every day. You don't have to worry about writing eloquent paragraphs - some simple notes or even drawings will work. Reflecting on moments of gratitude and penning them down before you forget can help you when you're having moments of sadness or frustration. It can also bring perspective on the many blessings you do experience each day.
Make a pact to yourself and your closest girlfriends. Focus on positive conversations, not demeaning others or gossiping about coworkers. Having less negativity in your life will make you so much happier - and worrying less about others' drama will give you more energy to take care of your own life and loved ones.
Write handwritten cards and thank you notes.
There's something about a handwritten letter, note, or card in the world of e-mail that makes it stand out. Even a few lines of heartfelt text to a friend or coworker can change their day. Ink on paper has a way of really forcing you to pen your thoughts from the heart. Take a moment and think how you can incorporate more personal communication in your life.
Commit to less complaining.
Instead of focusing on what is going wrong, focus on what is going right. Each day, make yourself aware of those moments in which you feel negative, in which you complain, or in which you feel your mood souring. Ask yourself, "Why?" Ask yourself, "Why am I getting frustrated or upset? Is it worth it?" It's healthy to have emotions. But, we can also control our mood by focusing on fewer complaints and more gratitude. The first step is to become aware of those things that do frustrate you, and finding ways to put that in perspective.
Say thank you (and stop saying sorry!).
Thank the people you interact with throughout the day. Say thank you to your veterinarian, your doctor, your mail delivery person, your trash collector. Passing gratitude is contagious. Genuine thanks can bring a smile to a person's face, and it always feels good to bring happiness to someone else. And on that note, don't over-apologize for things. Don't assume guilt. Take responsibility for your own actions, yes. But, don't say sorry for everything. If you are sorry, say it. If you find yourself saying it every time something out of your control happens, reconsider.