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Gratitude – the greatest gift you can give

As the holiday season is upon us, this is a time when you will be feeling varied emotions. Holiday time can be a time of stress as well as joy. The holidays can be a lonely time for some. The best way to combat stress, loneliness, sadness and a feeling of emptiness is to focus on gratitude in your life.
Below are Five Tips that can help you on your journey to gratitude this holiday season and beyond.
Each one of these tips will serve to put you in the gratitude mindset. They will remove you from a negative or complacent mindset and put you in a place of love and joy. How’s that for a holiday gift?
I am grateful for you. Thank you for reading my column each month and being a part of my community. Enjoy!
Make a list of things for which you are grateful. We are often so good at coming up with ways we are lacking often unconsciously. These negative thoughts infiltrate our mind and body and bring on sadness. To combat this sit down and actually write down the things you are grateful for. Then put this list somewhere where you can see it everyday to keep your gratitude at the top of your mind.
Start a gratitude journal. This is a great daily ritual. Leave the journal by your bed and then each evening before you go to sleep, write down the thing you are grateful for from that day. Some days you may simply be grateful for your health and other days the list will overflow. Making the time each day to review what happened that day for which you are grateful starts a new habit. You will find that you will start to attend to things during your day in a much different way. You will begin to look for things for which you can be grateful and as is said, ‘look and you shall find.’
Help others less fortunate then you. Nothing can help highlight the blessings in your life more then the experience of giving to others who are less fortunate then you are. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or assemble meals for the elderly. Reach out to your neighborhood’s chamber of commerce or places of worship and ask how you can be of service this holiday season.
Make a gratitude photo album. Some people prefer visuals. Make some time each day or schedule a gratitude outing by yourself or with friends and take pictures of things for which you are grateful. Pictures can include family, friends, sunsets, the ocean, yourself, your bank account, your dog, your hobbies. Be creative. Then print the photos and put them in an album where you can look at them each day.
Write a gratitude letter. This can be a beautiful holiday gift for someone special in your life. Think of someone in your life for who you are grateful and write them a letter letting them know why you are grateful for them. Spend time thinking about this and be specific. Then give them the letter. This is a gift for yourself as much as it is to the one who will receive it. You can also write this letter to someone who has passed away and then read it to them as if they were with you now. This exercise will open your heart.
Enjoy the feelings of gratitude and let me know how these gratitude steps worked for you!

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