By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
It's that time of year again when the seasons have changed; warm sweaters, hats, and gloves have come out of storage. Final winter preparations are being wrapped up as the holidays are fast approaching. November is the month for me to check in on my "Attitude of Gratitude" meter. It's the time of year when the Debbie Downers and Gloomy Garths of the world verbalize their negativity more than usual, as the festivities of the holidays can trigger and throw them into a tailspin. That's where the practice of gratitude is a huge plus. It is the most important ingredient in life itself for health, happiness, and the success of our businesses.
Fact: gratitude is actually a learned behavior. It is something that we can be taught, practice, and get better at over time. In addition, gratitude boosts our self-esteem and strengthens our resiliency, giving us a mental advantage in dealing with stressful situations.
I personally use many ways to track and tune into what I am grateful for in my life. I have a jar that I fill all year long with notes of gratitude that I read and reflect upon on New Year's Eve. I also have a journal in which I write my "3 Gratitudes" every morning to start my day.
My personal favorite this time of year is the Gratitude Tree. I arrange twigs in a jar, and cut leaf shapes out of fall-colored paper. I then ask friends and family to write the things they are grateful for on the leaves, which they hang on the tree. Not only is it a beautiful fall display, but it’s wonderful to share in others’ rich, heartfelt thanks for the things and people that truly matter to them. These experiences make such a difference in our lives. The leaves from the Gratitude Tree can be read aloud at Thanksgiving dinner, too.
In this way, gratitude helps us keep our perspective on the many things we find hard to deal with in our crazy world today. So use every chance you get to become thankful and celebrate life with friends and family—not only this Thanksgiving but all year long.
Forever and always grateful,