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Being Thankful

Have you ever truly thought about what it means to be thankful?  Sure, holidays kind of force us to think about it a little bit – we all sit around the Thanksgiving table and talk about all the things we are grateful for in our lives.  But it’s so easy to let that feeling slip away after the holidays pass.  Our busy lives catch up with us and we are suddenly back in the throes of long work hours, schedules, and all the obligations that we face on a daily basis that can cause frustration and angst.

I’ve been thinking a lot about thankfulness lately after seeing a recent TED talk.  In it, the speaker, Shawn Achor, discusses three things that you can do to encourage your brain to work more optimistically and more successfully.

Start A Gratitude Journal

The first is to start a journal and write down three things that you are grateful for each day.  Performing this exercise allows you to relive the good feelings that you had when you first had those experiences. These don’t have to be long written posts either – just jotting down some of the small things that come to mind each day can help you reflect on the good things that are happening in your life, and can make you happier.

Meditate

Second, take just 10 minutes each day to meditate.  Meditation allows us to clear our minds, and focus on the task at hand.  Meditation can be intimidating for many, but just sitting quietly and letting your thoughts pass through your mind without judgement can do wonders for your health. (Need some tips on meditating?  Click here.)

Perform Random Acts Of Kindness

Finally, performing one random act of kindness each day will help you to better appreciate others, gives you a warm feeling inside, and open you up to better relationships with friends, family and colleagues.  And it doesn’t have to cost you a thing – something as simple as sending one email to someone you care about each day thanking them, praising them for a job well done, or telling them how much they mean to you can do the trick.

Perform these steps for 21 days in a row and research shows that you will be poised for happiness and success.  And that’s something that we can all be thankful for.

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