We talk a lot about thankfulness in November, but do we actually live like we’re grateful? In today’s episode, we talk about the benefits of gratitude and the joy that comes from taking the time to notice life’s small blessings. We also break down some of the mental barriers that prevent gratitude and acknowledge the power our thoughts and outlook have on the quality of our life. This week it’s about recognizing life’s ordinary delights and letting those daily acknowledgments snowball into a life that seeks and finds the good. Thank YOU for being here. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Things to Remember From Today’s Episode:

Definition: “Gratitude is a measure of our perspective on the things we already have.”

Scientific studies have proven that grateful people are happier, more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a stronger immune system, and maintain stronger social relationships than those who do not practice gratitude. (That’s huge!)

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown

Barriers to Gratitude: Discontent, entitlement, envy, materialism, narcissism, and cynicism

Practicing gratitude is not saying, everything is going great – it’s saying, “I’m aware of my blessings.”

Practicing gratitude allows you to have a predominant habit of seeking and finding the GOOD in your life. 

SO often, we focus on all the things going WRONG in our lives. Why don’t we focus on what’s going RIGHT? What we focus on, magnifies.

Action Steps: Write down what you’re thankful for. Maybe start a gratitude journal. Notice. Start to find joy in the littlest of things. (Delight!) Say thank-you. (Out loud.)

Things Mentioned in Today’s Podcast:

I mentioned my bible study journal on the pod this week. It is called the Quieting Your Heart: 6 Month Bible Study Journal. I really do love it. (And it has a spot to list 3 things daily that I’m grateful for.)

I also found a few gratitude journals that I thought looked interesting. (Might make a great gift too!):

I mentioned an episode of a podcast that taught me about noticing what delights you. It was The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos, and it was her conversation with poet, Ross Gay.

Their conversation was based on his book, The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay. (I have this on hold at the library and cannot wait to read this.)

For Further Study and Encouragement:

I shared this post on our Girl on a Hill Facebook page, but wanted to share it here as well.

We’re good at noticing the BIG things we have to be thankful for – and we can spit out the “go-to” answers (family, friends, food, etc). But, I’m learning to look for the small things. The ordinary things. The things that bless us that we’re too busy to really see. I want to notice. I’m practicing really and truly looking for “delights.” Eyes wide open. One year I made a list of 100 tiny things I was grateful for – and it remains one of my favorite things I’ve done. I encourage you to take a look at my list, and then – make one of your own.

100 Small Things: Count Your Blessings and Change Your Life

I mentioned on the podcast that I started a gratitude journal after my miscarriage. I wrote a blog post about this experience and included some additional thoughts on the way thankfulness healed my heart. You can read it here: The Healing Power of Thankfulness.