Here in the US, it's Thanksgiving day, and that's a great reminder to really stop and ask, "What am I thankful for?"
Studies on actively engaging in gratitude have shown that it has an enormously positive effect on our lives. Yet in the go-go bustle of our day-to-day activities, and the pressures and stress of modern life, it's easy to lose touch with it.
With that in mind, here are some questions to help prompt your thankful thoughts...
1. Who do I appreciate?
2. How am I fortunate?
3. What material possessions am I thankful for?
4. What abilities do I have that I'm grateful for?
5. What about my surroundings (home/neighborhood/city/etc.) am I thankful for?
6. What experiences have I had that I am grateful for?
7. What happened today/yesterday/this week/this month/this year that I am grateful for?
8. What opportunities do I have that I am thankful for?
9. What have others in my life done that I am thankful for?
10. What have others done that I am benefiting from in my life (even if I don't know who those people are)?
11. What relationships am I thankful for?
12. What am I taking for granted that, if I stop to think about it, I am grateful for?
13. What is there about the challenges/difficulties I have experienced (or am currently experiencing) that I can be thankful for? (e.g., What have I learned? How have I grown?)
14. What is different today than it was a year ago that I'm thankful for?
15. What insights have I gained that I am grateful for?
These questions are a great start, but don't stop there. Come up with your own questions. Brainstorm as many gratitude-prompting questions as you can think of. Then, instead of sitting down with a gratitude journal and thinking, "OK, what am I grateful for," pick one of the questions and explore that.
By the time you finish all the questions, you'll have a really deep picture of the gratitude in your life. You'll also have a great resource to go back through on those days when you're feeling a bit bah humbug.
What other gratitude prompting questions come to mind? Post them here!
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Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM