November #inkripples Continued: Gratitude Isn’t Just for Thanksgiving

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on November 23, 2015 in Anecdote, Family, Food, Holidays, Ink Ripples |

In this special bonus #inkripples post for the November theme of Remembrance/Thankfulness (see my original post “Where Did My Memories Go?”), I wanted to talk about something I’ve been trying to incorporate into my daily life: focusing on gratitude.

Turns out one way to be happier in life is to be grateful (see “Giving thanks can make you happier” and “The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier” by Ocean Robbins). You don’t even have to express that gratitude to anyone in particular. Merely thinking about it and feeling it garners benefits, like boosting your mood and giving you a better sense of connection.

Ways to experience gratitude include actually, ya know, thanking someone and showing appreciation for them (in person or in writing), writing down or making a mental list of things you are grateful for, and praying or meditating (with gratitude in mind). It’s okay to keep it simple by noting the simple blessings in life.

I’ve been trying to take one moment each day and think about some of the things I’m grateful for. Building it into a daily routine makes it easier to incorporate into your everyday life. I like to do it in the shower. 😉

I gotta say, writing this post has actually made me feel good, and I’m not even thinking about anything specific that I’m grateful for. Maybe all you need to do is type the word “grateful” enough times and it will be true.

So what I’m saying is don’t reserve your thankfulness for that one day a year when you sit around the table eating turkey. Do it every day. And if your old Aunt Mabel is acting particularly grumpy on Thanksgiving, go ahead and suggest everyone take a minute to think of something they are grateful for. It might just bring a smile to the old bat’s face!

InkwellblueandgreenHave you joined the #inkripples movement yet? Ripples in the Inkwell is a monthly meme created by Kai Strand, Mary Waibel, and Katie L. Carroll(me!). On the second Monday of each month, we post on a particular topic. The idea is that we toss a word, idea, or image into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There’s no wrong way to do it and we’d love for you to participate (full details here). Be sure to provide a link to your own #inkripple in the comments! Look for details on next year’s ink ripples topics in December!

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  • Mary Waibel says:

    What a great idea, Katie.

    It’s amazing how much being grateful can boost your mood, even if you only think about it yourself and don’t share it.

    Today, I’m grateful for my beta readers and all they do to keep me writing. Without them, I wouldn’t have as many words written this year.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

    • It makes sense that feeling grateful is a mood booster, but it was really interesting to see that there is actual scientific proof behind it. Who knew?!

      My critique group and beta readers are the best! They help keep me motivated and are always great about giving the right mix of encouragement and criticism.

      I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, too!

  • Mirka Breen says:

    There is a lot of wisdom in all the old traditions. I noticed every other verbal expression is “Thank G-d” in various religious formulations. Taking care that this is not just an unconscious verbal sound devoid of content is a challenge, but I suspect just the constant utterance is healthful, too.

  • Beverly says:

    We do something like that at Thanksgiving. After we sit down at the table we go around and have everyone tell us one thing they’re grateful for.
    Also, when I take my walk each day, this feeling of thankfulness or gratitude comes over me. This is the perfect time to express my gratitude and thanks for this beautiful world God created and all that’s in it, including the simple things, like the sky and clouds, birds and bees. Great post.

  • Ann Herrick says:

    Counting our blessings is definitely a mood booster!

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