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Embrace Gratitude When Life Feels Chaotic

We’re approaching the time of year when life can get chaotic. Family travels, holiday gift purchases and time with relatives you may not get along with can be emotionally taxing.

This also is a time of year when we’re encouraged to be thankful and grateful. Studies show that expressing gratitude can be beneficial to your health. Exercises in gratitude can leave you feeling more optimistic and better about your life. It can make you feel happier. At work, it can motivate you to work harder.

Here are some ways you can cultivate your attitude of gratitude:

  1. Write thank you notes. This is one of my favorites, because so many of us only get junk and bills in the mail these days. I love to address envelopes in colorful ink using modern calligraphy. I love opportunities to let clients and friends know I appreciate them.
  2. Make gratitude part of your journaling activities. I try to end each journal entry by listing three things that I’m grateful for. I feel like this exercise makes me view the world more positively, and that feels particularly important to me when the news is overrun with stories of uncertainty and turmoil.
  3. Do someone a favor. Offer to help a coworker when they’re in the weeds with a work project. Bring up your neighbor’s trashcan after pickup day. Run an errand for someone. Little things go a long way toward showing friends and loved ones that you care about them.
  4. Share your skills. I learned so much about personal finances when my husband, Michael, and I completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University years ago. I found myself bringing it up in conversations often, and friends asked lots of questions. It felt great to share what I’d learned, in hope they could use it to improve their financial situations. Two friends recently called me to share that they had paid off their house and were debt-free. That was awesome news to hear.
  5. Celebrate others’ achievements. When something incredible happens in the lives of your loved ones, celebrate them instead of feeling envious that it didn’t happen to you.

I hope this year has been good for you, and that you have racked up things to feel grateful for. I wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving. May you feel truly blessed this holiday season.

November 2023

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