Practicing gratitude and being thankful shouldn’t be limited to just one day a year. We should practice gratitude like everyday is Thanksgiving. Even if we’re just thankful to have gotten out of bed in the morning.
I think we should start by talking about what gratitude means. Gratitude is a thankful recognition of something that someone receives. It teaches us to recognize all of the goodness in our lives. Eventually, people start to realize goodness comes from outside of themselves, at least for the most part.
Being grateful teaches us how to connect with things that are bigger than us. Gratitude allows us to feel more positive emotions and enjoy our good experiences. It even allows us to create stronger relationships with those around us. Practicing gratitude is so important for our mental health. It teaches us to be more appreciative of the things in our lives.
Practicing gratitude is something that I had to learn over time. I was never appreciative of the things in my life. I was only focusing on the negative that I forgot to appreciate the good stuff. Now, I am grateful for everything each day brings me. I know it can be hard to be grateful when you’re having a hard time. It’s even more important to practice gratitude when things are hard because it’ll teach you to appreciate everything else a little more.
You can practice gratitude everyday in so many different ways! One of the best ways that you can do that is by starting a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal allows you to reflect on and record the things you are grateful for on a regular basis. You typically try to write about three things you are grateful for everyday. Gratitude journaling is one of the best ways to practice gratefulness and improve your happiness.
I hope after reading this that you’ll be a little more grateful for the things in your lives (even the small ones). Our world needs less negativity and more positivity. Please practice gratitude, if not for yourself, but for those in your life.
How will you be practicing gratitude?
Learn how to start your own Gratitude Journal here!
You can also check out our podcast about Gratitude right here on TurningPointCT!
Who Makes You Happy?
We always talk about the things or even places that make us happy but we never talk about the people that make us happy. What’s up with that? Those wonderful people in your lives deserve to know that they’re having a positive impact on you. They’re important too!
The things we say about and do for ourselves are an important part of managing our mental health. But you know what’s just as important? The people we surround ourselves with. The people that make us happy and feel good about ourselves are a critical part of how we manage our mental health. I say critical because these are the people that remind us that we are loved, worthy, and full of untapped potential. They keep us afloat when we feel like we’re drowning. Often, they’re our light at the end of the tunnel.
While we’re on the topic of who makes us happy, I want to take this time to talk about all of the people that make me happy. I have a lot of wonderful people in my life but there are a few who definitely deserve some recognition. These people are my siblings, my co-workers, my honey, and of course, one of my closest (and oldest) friends.
My brothers Donovan and Dante have always made me happy. Although it might not always seem that way, I promise it’s the truth. My brothers are the ones I hold close to my heart. Honestly, I’d say they actually are a piece of my heart, or at least it feels that way. Loving them and knowing that they love me back makes me happy. They are the ones that I know will be there for me when nobody else is. Donovan and Dante are the best brothers that anyone could ask for. They’re honest, kind and so full of love to give.
I am SO proud of the young men that they’re becoming, even if they don’t see it themselves yet. Their accomplishments (even the little ones) make me happy too. I will continue to cheer them on from the sidelines, I’m their biggest fan and I always will be. I know that they’re certainly mine. They’re the first people I want to tell good news to because I know they’ll be the most excited about it. I hope that I’m part of their happiness too!
My coworkers at the school are absolutely a cause for my happiness. These are the people I spend most of my week with. This is the first job I’ve been at where my coworkers have actually turned into what feels like family. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some pretty great coworkers but nothing like this. I spend my whole workday with these people, so we obviously need to make sure that we work well together. And guess what? We absolutely do. I know that I can rely on these people to pick me up when I’m feeling down. I just want them to know I appreciate every single one of them, even on the hard days. My teacher is wonderful. She’s loud, crazy, fun and so full of energy, she really keeps us going sometimes.
While I love my teacher, it’s my coworkers who have stolen my heart. Cassie, who I’ve found a fantastic best friend in, was a blessing. All year long we were full of laughs, hugs, tears and so much more. I miss you more than you know but I am so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone! But now, Jen keeps me going on long days with laughs and conversations about the most random things. Even Mr. G, who indulges me with Swedish meatball pizza and what I consider some of the best dad jokes! Of everyone, I am especially thankful for Ciara and Dwayne who continue to encourage me to be the very best version of myself. I appreciate everything that you’ve both done and continue to do for me.
Last but certainly not least, Kailey. I can’t even tell you how happy I am to still have her in my life. Kailey was one of the first friends I made in middle school when I moved back to Salem (Connecticut) and we just never looked back. She is absolutely one of the people who makes me happy because she ALWAYS reminds me that it’s okay to feel the way that I’m feeling and that there’s nothing wrong with having a bad day.
Kailey is the one who encouraged me to apply for this job and I’m so glad that I did. This job has been a blessing. At first, I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to do it but here I am doing it! Plus, she continues to assure me every day that I’m doing a great job. She’s always believed in me, no matter what it was that we were doing. Almost 10 years later, it feels like nothing’s changed for us. We talk almost every day about everything and anything. She’s honestly a rock for me. I’d fall apart without her for sure. I know in my heart that anyone would be lucky to have her in their lives.
These people are so important to me and I will always make sure that they know it. They’re such an important part of my life and who I am, they’ve helped shape me into a better person. They continue to inspire me in different ways every day. Please remember to appreciate all the wonderful people in your life. ❤️
Who makes you happy? I’d love to hear all about them and what they’ve done for you!
If you have some time, read The Conversation’s article on happiness here! 🙂
Are you struggling or just need someone to talk to? You can check out all of TurningPointCT’s Resources to see what’s right for you!
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help. Learn More »