How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

"What are you thankful for?" is sure to come up as Thanksgiving nears. Some days it's easy to answer, and some days it just feels a little forced--if you're feeling tired, cranky or just having an off day.

By this time, you likely know practicing gratitude is something you should do, but what if you're just not feeling it? We're sharing a few quick tips in case you need help making an attitude adjustment.

1. Breathe. There's an amazing process constantly happening to nourish you, without any work on your part! We mostly take it for granted. Pause, close your eyes, and take 5 long, slow, deep breaths. As meditation teacher John Kabat-Zinn says, "As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you."

2. Get Outside. Change your view, change your perspective. Even if you're far from nature, just get out for a walk under open sky. The idea is to remember what a big, beautiful world you inhabit. When we feel small under a big sky, our stresses just might shrink down too. 

3. Find Your Positive Peeps. You know who they are...not the ones who will help you complain, but the ones who will help you keep perspective. On days when your struggles are weighing you down, spend time with those who lift you up.

4. Do Something Nice. There's a direct correlation between helping others and feeling happy and healthy. And it doesn't have to be a huge commitment like spending a day at a homeless shelter (although that would be awesome!) Text a friend a compliment, or let a car in your lane in traffic. You're just trying to shift the focus away from you, and connect with others instead.

5. Make it a Habit. The more you practice, the easier it gets. Establish a routine, like journaling three things you're grateful for every morning while you drink your coffee, or before you go to bed. Or use an app like Gratitude or Grateful (helpful because of reminder prompts!) The bonus of a written record is that you can refer back to it on days when you need a reminder of everything in your life that's AWESOME.

Be inspired this Thanksgiving to make a gratitude a daily practice! Share your attitude of gratitude with family and friends and inspire others to take part.

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