Thanksgiving father and son
Photo by Derek Owens on Unsplash

Don’t wait until you feel thankful.

Say thankful things out loud anyway, and the feelings will follow.

Play the A,B,Cs of Gratitude game. (This works with a group and by yourself.) Say, “I’m thankful for (then name something that starts with the letter A).” Do the same with B and so on. Smiles, laughter, and thankfulness ensue!

Go deeper, if you want, by sharing WHY your picked your letter item.

PositivePsychology.com says:

Gratitude allows a person to:

  • celebrate the present
  • block toxic emotions (envy, resentment, regret, depression)
  • be more stress-resilient, and
  • strengthen social ties and self-worth.

Gratitude research is on-going by experts worldwide.

When gratitude fails

As easy as gratitude is to put into practice, there is one thing that can get in the way of it ‘going viral:’ Ingratitude. Emmons (2013) offers the following characteristics of ingratitude:

  • excessive sense of self-importance
  • arrogance
  • vanity
  • unquenchable need for admiration and approval
  • sense of entitlement

Some might recognize these as traits describing a narcissistic personality. wrote,

Of all crimes that human creatures are capable of committing, the most horrid and unnatural is ingratitude.”

Philosopher David Hume (1739)

John Parker encourages:

Let’s be surprisingly grateful this Thanksgiving!