Mental Health Healing Man

Being Mindful of Thankfulness All Year Long

During this time of the year, as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, many residents of the United States take a bit of time to focus on the things they feel gratitude toward. This focus, however, can sometimes be myopic and short-lived. We throw all of our thought into what we are thankful for, but only for a day, a week, a month. Then, the holidays are over and it’s back to the doldrums of daily living, and active gratitude slips away until the next holiday season.

Don’t let the thankful feelings go after the holiday is over

Resolve to be conscious and actively aware of what you are thankful for, no matter what day it is. The surge of gladness you feel when you contemplate gratitude and sources of personal feelings of gratitude shouldn’t be relegated to being experienced during one day each year, or one season each year. Vow to keep a tight grip on your thankful feelings, even after the holidays are over. Take the time to reflect mindfully about thankfulness each and every day.

Use a wide-focus lens when it comes to both mindfulness and gratitude

Sometimes, gratitude can arise from the most offbeat places. Rather than digging in the “usual spots” for sources of thankful feelings, try to evaluate each situation you experience in an outside-of-the-box way, looking for gratitude in unexpected places. You may be surprised how much you have to be thankful for when you take this approach.

Similarly, be broad in your application of mindfulness. Rather than putting the practice of mindfulness into a time slot each day where you perform mindfulness meditation exercises, try practicing mindful awareness of yourself and your surroundings at random times. In this way, you can become more familiar with yourself and the world around you, thus opening new doors to opportunities—including opportunities for experiencing thankfulness and gratitude.