8 ways to be thankful for what you already have

As the year begins to wrap up, the holiday season brings a time of fellowship and thanksgiving for you and your loved ones. Since many people live fast-paced lives, often there isn’t time to reflect until the holiday season. Finding more ways to be thankful can increase your productivity and even health. Discover more ways to be thankful this holiday season and beyond. Here are eight small ways to help you practice gratitude and be thankful for what you have.

Write in a gratitude journal 2-3 times a week
It can be hard to have the free time to think about everything clearly. When we experience daily challenges it can easily become frustrating and change the course of your day. Creating a gratitude journal at the start of your day is a powerful tool to center you. It allows you a little bit of time to think and reflect on the things and people in your life that you are thankful for. Not only does this allow you the ability to instantly grow your appreciation but it also grows your character by reflecting on what has made you the person you are today. 

Reflect on your milestones (see how far you have come)
Your active days can rob you of your time to think clearly and reflect on all the growth in your life. Through your journey, it is important to look back on the progress you’ve made. It gives you encouragement to continue moving forward and it helps empower you through plateau seasons of your life. Don’t forget where you started because you have grown since and that is worth remembering

Approach challenges as learning lessons to help develop your character
If anyone has lived even a moment of life, they have experienced struggle. No one, no matter job or family background is immune to going through challenges. The power, however, is in the way you respond to your challenges. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change. You have the choice to respond to challenges in your life as a reason to become bitter or better. Approach your challenges as a learning lesson. Be thankful for the confidence, wisdom, and character you will receive.

Be mindful of what you are speaking
The power of the spoken word is incredible. It can be like magic. With this great power, you have a great responsibility. You have the capability to speak yourself into a good or bad mood. Anything that you speak is given verbal permission. Speak words of thankfulness into your life and into others. Words can be the very remedy that you or someone else needs to recenter them in thanksgiving. 

Recite prayers or quotes of thankfulness
Another quick way to center yourself into thankfulness is to recite aloud a prayer or quote of thanks. Spiritual text and well-known humanitarians of the world have tons of saying about what it means to be thankful. Find a short saying that you can easily remember and recite it each morning or whenever you want to lift your spirits. 

Use visual reminders
What are some things in your life that you are thankful for? Is it your family? Are you thankful for upward mobility? Post pictures and other visual cues around you that will help remind you what you are thankful for. You can post pictures in your wallet of your family. Even frame pictures in your office or at your bedside. Place visual reminders such as gifts from loved ones around you as well. 

Get creative
Think of ways outside the box to express your gratitude to others.  Giving to others makes your mind focus things bigger than yourself. It helps you to be thankful for what you have and what you can give to others via time and resources. 

Spend time with those who matter most to you
One of the most influential ways to give you a heart full of thankfulness is to spend time with those who mean the most to you. Whether it be family or friends, quality time with those you love will help enhance your quality of life. Make the commitment to spend time with your loved ones this holiday season. The presence of others is something to be thankful for.  

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The Finance Bar is a personal finance suite helping women and couples achieve financial wellness through coaching, education, and an innovative learning hub on wheels. Creator Marsha Barnes is a Certified Financial Social Worker, Official FICO Brand Ambassador, and was named the 2018 Best Money Expert in the Net-Worth Category.

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