Madison, WI,
12:15 PM

5 Great Ways to Show Gratitude


It’s good for you, and for others, too!

When you think of Thanksgiving, parades, turkey dinners, football and family gatherings come to mind.

But the essence of Thanksgiving – being grateful for those you care about and things that matter most – is perhaps the best part of the holiday.

In fact, there’s mounting scientific evidence that showing gratitude on a continuing basis – not only on Thanksgiving – can yield mental and physical health benefits.

Simply put, being a mindful practitioner of gratitude can help you pursue your dreams of achieving greater happiness and healthiness. And, you’ll have a meaningful, positive impact on others, too.

Want some inspiring ideas for living with gratitude? Here are five suggestions to consider this Thanksgiving and all year round.

  1. Make It a Habit: On a regular basis, take stock of the people and things for which you are grateful. Try making a short gratitude list every day at breakfast time, or keeping a journal. By doing so, gratitude can become more deeply integrated into your existence and outlook.
  2. Show It: Demonstrate your thanks for loved ones, friends and co-workers by surprising them with good deeds. Do a favor, run an errand or give a small gift. Random acts of kindness let them know how you feel in a meaningful way.
  3. Say It: Taking the time to say “thank-you” in person or via letters, phone calls or other ways conveys what’s in your heart, and reinforces connections that matter.
  4. Keep It Real: Being mindful of negative things in your life gives clarity to the good things for which you are grateful. Remembering past triumphs over adversity can empower you to help yourself and others when the going gets tough.
  5.  Make a Difference: Volunteering in your community or donating to charities can be a powerful gift of gratitude that can make the world a better place. It also can create a powerful “pay it forward” ripple effect, spurring others to make a difference.

Looking for inspiration for your own gratitude journey? This month, follow along with American Family’s #30DaysofThanks conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to discover and share your own ideas for living a life in gratitude.

American Family’s 30 Days of Thanks social media campaign explores the power of gratitude and celebrates the positive effect it can have on our lives - and in the pursuit of our dreams!