Even with the unpleasant news making the rounds about the economy — unemployment rates have risen, and the stock market has fallen. There’s still a lot to be thankful for, most especially during the holiday period. 

Usually, loved ones and friends come together to offer support in times of difficulty, and this year isn’t different. The gift of gratitude – a sincere thank you — can be a daily gift to the people you love this holiday season. And the cost will not burden your tight budget in any way.

Then why is it so hard to say thanks? Most times we’re more focused on ourselves — Galileo may have proven that the earth revolved around the sun, but secretly some of us believe the world orbits around us. 

At times it’s difficult to get out of that orbit and become a lot more aware of the contributions of the others. And everyone has a habit of taking good things for granted. 

People instinctively concentrate more on threats to their security rather than the situations of safety and pleasure. We don’t really notice supportive behaviors. Therefore, we often ignore positive acts.

At other times we believe that, by acknowledging our loved ones for their generosity, they might not notice things they can appreciate about us. In fact, conveying gratitude can generate positive effects for the sender and recipient.

However, making any changes in behavior can be challenging — and the establishment of life-long habits requires conscious repetitions. It might be difficult to commit to building this new talent, but it’s worth the effort.

Not only does expressing gratitude make others feel good, but it also helps you and your mood. By focusing on what you’re grateful for, you gain a variety of benefits. 

These include healthier sleep, increased self-esteem, a higher level of satisfaction, and connecting better with the world that surrounds you. Not a bad result – especially for a Sandwiched Boomer who is in the midst of aging parents and growing children. Willie Nelson notes, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”

You must first become aware of what you’re grateful for before you can even start acknowledging the roles of others. Here are five steps you can use to get started:

  • Start to consciously perceive what you enjoy. Mindfulness is the primary step to creating change. Take time to partake in the process of feeling and recognizing your gratitude.
  • Count your blessings. Every evening, write down three things that occurred during the day for which you’re grateful. Be specific when describing what ensued to you. It could be anything from a hug from your teenage son, to a caring chat with your partner, or a lunch date with your mother.
  • Re-create and enjoy each of these events again. Take time re-creating the happiness of this experience in your mind. You’ll feel your body become a lot more relaxed, your emotions more positive, and your thoughts more focused. The joys of life lie not only in current activities but also in thinking back to pleasant occasions.
  • Consider what you’ve done to open yourself for these moments. Then make a decision to guide your actions to integrate more of these joys into your life. Acknowledging your personal power will intensify your faith in yourself and your inclination to think about the roles others played in your happiness.
  • Understand the reason this piece of luck came your way. It will help you know of the people you appreciate being in your life. Then you can thank them for contributing to the improvement of your world.

The decision to focus on thanksgiving means a whole new way of thinking. As Albert Schweitzer expressed it in this way, “To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.” 

If you adhere to these steps, you can work on the gratitude you undergo and live a rich life, regardless of the economic environment.


With Gratitude and Love
Dewvy ❤️