How to be intentionally thankful

Maybe turning fifty does this to people, but life is far too short to waste it on duty and things I don’t enjoy. A little intentional thankfulness makes life better.

In this post:

How to be intentionally thankful

Society can be a negative place, especially lately. To counteract the negativity bringing you down, be intentionally thankful.

What does it mean to be intentionally thankful?

Intentionally thankful living means attempting to express gratitude and thanksgiving in your life.

Maybe it is human nature, but too often it’s easier to complain and grumble than express thankfulness for someone or something in our lives.

When I talk of being intentionally thankful, I refer to taking time in your day to contemplate on the good things in your life right now. Even when life is messy, finding a few things to be thankful about can improve your mood and give you the hope to press onward.

Is being intentionally thankful being fake?

How to be intentionally thankful

Life gets messy sometimes. Things can go wrong. People can be annoying. Circumstances can knock you down.

This is reality.

Being intentionally thankful doesn’t deny bad stuff weighs us down or makes us ignore our emotions. Instead, it helps me deal with it better.

Have you ever seen a movie where the hero is climbing out of the pit they’re in, and they lose their grip, falling back down? Then, suddenly, they can grab onto something, or use a grappling hook or some other tool. Suddenly, they aren’t falling anymore.

Their situation is still precarious. Most of us would still die of a heart attack in a similar situation.

But something has stopped them from falling all the way.

I like to think of intentional thankfulness as that grappling hook or ledge that we can grab on to keep from falling all the way.

Spiraling with a negative mindset, where everything seems hopeless, is far too easy for me to do. Taking a moment to remember three things I’m thankful for stops the spiral. I stop falling down into the pit.

3 ways to be intentionally thankful

There are three basic techniques I used to be intentionally thankful. These are:

  1. Make a short list each morning of three things I’m thankful for, no matter how small. Then remind myself of those three good things throughout the day.
  2. Express thankfulness to one or two people per day. Everyone experiencing that spiral of negativity from time to time. Reminding someone else that people are thankful for them can make their whole day.
  3. Make room for those things that put a smile on your face. Maybe turning fifty does this to people, but life is far too short to waste it on duty and things I don’t enjoy.

I surround myself with things I love. For me, this includes music. No matter how cheap I am, I’ll always make room in my budget for Spotify premium. There are a few podcasts I listen to frequently.

I love inspirational quotes, no matter how dorky people think I am. My day is better when I have those stuck all over my work area.

A little intentional thankfulness makes life better.

Take action
with these recommended next steps:
  1. Decide to be more grateful in your everyday life. Not faking gratitude. But finding things you are truly thankful for, no matter how small.
  2. Surround your life and your environment with reminders of what makes you thankful. Things like music, quotes, paintings, pictures, and so on.
  3. Find three things to be thankful for everyday.
  4. Tell someone else how thankful you are for them, from the heart.
  5. Use a planner or app to record your gratitude thoughts, and make thankfulness a habit. I created the Let’s Live with Gratitude journal to help with that.
If you found this helpful, you may also like these:
How to Start each day with Gratitude
Do you struggle with gratitude and thankfulness in your everyday life? I’ve found starting each day with gratitude helps my brain see the good in each day. Here are some tricks that help
The overlooked key to success
The overlooked key to success
Do you ever tire of people implying success is just effort and hard work? Having been in poverty, I know that effort isn’t the most important factor in success.
Easy to use Gratitude Guided Journal
This gratitude guided journal and planner helps you focus on gratitude and thankfulness while you plan your life with built in reflections on each page.

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