As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

One of the most proactive yet effortless ways to Be The Change with family, friends, co-workers or anyone you encounter is to show and express gratitude.  Gratitude is a profound way to identify and experience what gives you energy and happiness and opens up avenues of awareness that lead to increasing levels of joy and well-being.

Showing gratitude helps us easily shift from a ‘half-empty glass’ perspective to a ‘half-full glass’ mindset that allows us to embrace a broader range of possibilities. It is not just about being cheerful. You will notice that gratitude is deeper and more expansive than positive thinking and optimism. It is an intensely personal way to acknowledge and identify what is meaningful and important in your life.

Developing an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ can be a significant and valuable habit to cultivate. It not only is a useful way to mitigate stress and difficult situations but also more importantly helps us to recognize and acknowledge the blessings that continually surround us.

Promise yourself this holiday season and onwards – to find ways big or small to express gratitude with thankfulness and kindness. Consider that others may not know the effect they are having on you or those around them.  Your attentive and thoughtful words will encourage and inspire them. Let someone know how much you appreciate their presence in your life – especially those who have made an impact or difference in the quality of your life. Tell someone how much you appreciate the favor they did, the nice meal they made, the beautiful decorations they created, or the pleasant colors they are wearing… You will undoubtedly find that the opportunities for gratitude are inexhaustible and will easily present themselves when you set the intention to be conscientious.

What to be grateful for? 7 questions to consider:

  • What gives you JOY?
  • How has meditation or spiritual practice added to the quality of your life?
  • What have you learned that was useful to you that may be helpful to others?
  • Who has supported or nurtured you?
  • What do you feel lucky to have?
  • What situation or person have you possibly taken for granted?
  • What opportunities do you have and enjoy?

Do not forget to give yourself equal consideration. Acknowledge and give gratitude for your own fine qualities and efforts. Knowing what you are grateful for is a powerful and effective way to open your heart and mind to Be The Change.

Your duty to yourself is to express kindness.Swami Kriyananda

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