We stopped at the library before our holidays last week, and one of the books I picked up was on living a thankful life. It's written from a very open spiritual perspective, so I'm reading 'lightly' but there are some true principles and some good ideas in it to build practices of gratitude into your life. I can't separate that in my mind from the one we must be thankful to, so these become spiritual practices more than simply being thankful.
- When you're feeling down, you will feel better if you decide to dwell on what is good in your life and give thanks for those things.
- Develop 'triggers' in your life - decide that your first thought when your feet hit the floor will be "I am thankful for this day and all that it will bring," or decide that every time you close the house door behind you, you will think, "I am thankful for this home and for my family, and am glad I get to return here to them every day."
- When someone helps us, like the server or cashier, say a genuine thank you - they will have a better day, and you can let that remind you that God made and cares for that person. You can in that small way be a part of God's caring for them.
- Start a gratitude journal and write in it every day what you are thankful for. I started one and today will be day four that I write in it. You can ask me how that's going in a couple of weeks!