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What are you grateful for?

Take a few seconds to think about it.

What comes to mind? Is it your family, your friends, or your puppy? Perhaps the first thing you thought of was a significant other or a test you just aced. Maybe you felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude for life itself.

Since I’m not a mind reader, there’s no way for me to know what you thought about, but I can say this: there is always something to be grateful for. Even at your lowest points, there is a lesson learned, a positive experience that passed, a person, or another thing that you can be thankful for. I believe this wholeheartedly.

Speaking from personal experience, I found myself making the act of gratitude a part of my life at a very young age — near death experiences do that sometimes. When I was in fifth grade, my family got in a terrible car accident. My mom was behind the wheel, driving home from church when suddenly another vehicle hit us. My mother’s car spun three times and hit an electrical pole. The car was a total loss, I had bruises on my neck, knee, and forehead, and my mom passed out. It was painful and scary. But, no one died. None of us had any broken bones. No one even had to spend the whole night in a hospital bed. I think that was the moment that not only solidified my faith, but it also taught me to be more appreciative.

Now, I always try to thank God for another day when I wake up in the morning. I tell my friends that I love them, and I try to find the silver lining in most circumstances. And let me tell you, being intentional about showing gratitude brings about positive emotions/experiences. It feels good to be thankful. You can actually find a few articles that talk about the benefits of being grateful such as this one from Harvard Health.

I mention all of this because even though we are in the season where things like gratitude are emphasized (with today being Thanksgiving and all), I encourage you to form habits that will allow you to be grateful more often (if you haven’t done so already). This can look like writing three things you are thankful for at the beginning or end of every day, or even doing random acts of appreciation for your loved ones. Whatever it is, remember to do what fits you the most.

That being said, I’m going to end this piece by providing one more question for you to think about:

How will you show gratitude today and every day?

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