How to be Thankful 360 Days a Year
In the spirit of the holiday season, we tend to be more reflective, thankful, and joyful (if not the opposite) than we had been during non-holidays. Do not get me wrong, while I myself consciously enjoy this season and recognize its essence, I also think that being reflective and thankful should not just be limited to five times a year. So, here is a short list of things to consider and things to do during those 360 ordinary days:
Before Sleeping, After Waking. In the confines of our rooms, perhaps it is best to ask ourselves this question: what am I most thankful for today? It does not matter whichever comes first, but assessing the events of the day and reflecting on what we learned or felt before sleeping and simply being thankful and positive the moment we wake up are really both helpful in keeping up with the holiday mood on ordinary days. For some, it might require much effort, but with a little prodding, it is a wonderful form of meditation. In the most basic sense, the ability to sleep well and wake up refreshed alone are things to be thankful for, so adding these meditative sessions will surely make the entire experience more relaxing and refreshing.
What’s that word? Oh, Thanks! As a child, I was taught to say “you’re welcome” and “thank you” every time somebody does or gives me something. And as we get older, the true meaning of these words are amplified. If then as a child, saying these magic words were simply reactionary functions after those aforementioned acts, now as I have gotten older, every time I utter these words, I recognize the efforts from the other party and acknowledge the intrinsic value it has. Each deed, no matter how small must not be left unrecognized. Every small act counts, so if it’s a matter of thanking someone for holding the elevator door to letting you stay in their house, please by all means do express your appreciation! It does not hurt to show some gratitude you know.
Appreciating the Simple Things. In this century of technology, where the phrase “at the tip of your fingers” has never been so true and real, we often forget to appreciate the simpler things our earthly lives has to offer. Sometimes if it does not come in a white box with an Apple on it or a blue box courtesy of Tiffany and Co. and the likes, thanks or thank you are hard to come by, let alone heard of. There is nothing wrong if one appreciates receiving these but if one limits his concept of appreciation solely upon receiving these items, then it becomes problematic. The next time you are out take a little time off to look at your surroundings, where you are, who you are with, what you are capable of and all that. Appreciate the fact that you can do the things that you do, have the things that you have, and still have the possibility of doing more. Think about how your life would be like if you had things differently. You know that saying that you only know what you’ve lost when it’s already gone? Well, do not wait for it/them to be out of your life. Act now and start appreciating! After all, it is those instances that we consider to be mundane or ordinary that we’ll miss most when all of them are gone.
Smiling is Just Exhaling with Love. At this point, you should’ve had it coming. You know that the next suggestion on this short list is about smiling. Smiling is really just exhaling with love. How so? Well, grab a mirror and hold it so you can see your lovely face. Next, breathe in and out. Then, as you do so, slowly show your teeth and arch your lips to form a smile. As you do this, visualize that you are communicating your thanks, your love through that smile.Do this many times and observe that when you have synced in your breathing with the movement of lips, it’ll come effortlessly. Doesn’t it make you feel good? Now, think of how it would affect others when they see that on your gorgeous face! I know that if I see a genuine smile, one that communicates all the positive emotions particularly thankfulness, I become not only enamored but cheerful as well. So, yes, I ask you to spread your lips like jam on that face!
May the ordinary days that await us be filled with utmost joy and reflections!