During the holiday season, it’s important to have “an attitude of gratitude.” This is the perfect time of year to remember how blessed we are, how truly amazing life is, and how wonderful the people around us are. Now – more than ever – is the time to show our appreciation towards the things in our lives that makes us happy. Adopting this habit – showing how thankful and grateful we are – will put us in a state of mind to better enjoy the holidays and life altogether.

How do you achieve an attitude of gratitude? Here are five ideas to help you feel more optimistic, happier, and at peace during this season.

Love the little things

We should be thankful for everything in our life, not just the big things, like a nice house or a stable job. We should show appreciation for the small things, too. A stranger’s hello or a pet’s cheerful bark is sometimes as inspiring and wonderful as an artist’s masterpiece. Showing appreciation for the small things in your life can help your reach a better understanding of what happiness really is. Even a compliment or saying thank you can put you in a peaceful and grateful state of mind. Make sure you keep an eye on the smallest prize. Remember the little things can sometimes be the biggest gifts in the world.

Watch what you take for granted

We often look right past what we see every day – the events or things so common as to be unnoticed. It’s called taking things for granted. We even can do this to people in our lives. We must adopt the habit of being aware of everything and everyone we have in our life. We take for granted our family, our health, our friends, and our freedoms. We usually don’t know what we have in our life until we lose it. Don’t wait until it’s gone – make an effort to see the little things and be appreciative of them.

Consider your comparisons

We all have the tendency to look at others and see how well they are doing vs. how well we’re not doing. This is the wrong way to live our lives. We shouldn’t compare our lives to others’. We don’t know what the other person’s journey was to reach that point in their life. What we should be doing is showing a sense of happiness that they were able to achieve that measure of success. If you want to constructively compare your life against someone else’s, consider those less fortunate than you. This should help you be thankful for what you have and inspire you to help them, too. Make them feel special and especially try to bring peace and happiness to their lives. Don’t look at others to see what you do not have – look at what you have to see how you can help others.

Look for the good

Anyone can find the good in any situation, no matter how bad it is. We have all had seasons in our lives where we couldn’t see the good, but trust me – it’s always there. Sometimes we just didn’t want to accept it. I have learned those are the times we grow and find some good things about ourselves. Adversity shows our true character during these times. Being thankful for what you have in life is a way to see on the good in any situation. In fact, seeing the good in our lives should always be our main focus, all the time. If you’re going through hard times, remember this: it’s not always as bad as it seems. Having an attitude of gratitude during these times will help you remember what is going right and inspire you to keep going on.

Journal what you’re grateful for

Write it down. Make a list of all the people, events, and things you’re grateful for. When you do this exercise, take time to feel the difference in yourself. Go ahead and write down everything that you love about your life, your family, your school, your friends, your job, and anything else you can think of. Write down as many things as you can for each area. If you find yourself being negative or taking any of these for granted, watch the magic come alive as you use your pen to write down all the things that are good.

See how different you feel? This simple little exercise will give you a whole new perspective. The next time you find yourself grumbling and complaining about your situation, go back to this list and be reminded of all the things you’re blessed with. Let it inspire you to have the right attitude and to make an even better life than you are already living.

I think Zig Ziglar said it best: “Of all the ‘attitudes’ we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing.”

Keep this attitude of gratitude during the Christmas season and throughout your life. Make sure you are keeping the right perspective when it comes to what you have already in your life and the importance of your relationships. Make sure your life is an example others can live by and be inspired by. It is amazing that something as small as showing appreciation and saying thank you can create some of the best and most inspiring moments in others’ lives.

One last thing – and this is the most important – thank God everyday for the life He has given you and the things you are blessed with. One of the best things we can do with our lives is take the talents and blessings He has given us and put them to great use while we are here on this earth. Merry Christmas and may your holidays be as blessed as mine.

“Remember that it is up to you to choose everyday to Get off Your Attitude and to create a positive lifestyle for yourself and others.” Ryan C. Lowe

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