Many reserve the act of thankfulness for religious practice and holidays, like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Being thankful is not just for certain times of the year or on certain days. That’s not to say that you are never thankful for what you have, but think about thankfulness in your everyday life.

Are you so busy that you don’t let the little things make you smirk with joy and gratitude? Most of the time, these little moments of thankfulness surprise you or catch you off guard. Why is that?

What if you were able to open your awareness to such moments by making it a conscious practice? Thankfulness is a part of human nature, but it needs to be put into practice to become a conscious habit.

Redefine Thankfulness.

Break down the term “thankfulness” with creative license and the flexible use of personalized etymology, as you literally see the word. Three syllables emerge:

• Thank: Consider the process of thanking someone in your life. Is it a mere courtesy without your presence in the moment? It’s an active verb, an action. What do you want to do differently when you thank others? Do you want to reserve the word for particular meaning, and use another phrase of gratitude in its place? Sometimes you say “thanks” when you truly mean something else.
• Full: Feeling fulfilled and experiencing the whole picture.
• Ness: It’s like the Loch Ness monster (or not), or the essence of emergence and coming into a moment. Let moments happen, and be thankful for each and every detail.

With this creative use “etymology,” take the term into consideration. How do you redefine or see thankfulness?

Create a simple, daily thankfulness ritual.

Creating a space for yourself to be truly thankful, whatever that means for you, every single day. It’s okay if that ritual changes form. Perhaps, it’s taking three breaths with your eyes closed, placing a hand over your heart to feel its beat. Turn thankfulness into a practice by creating a gratitude journal.

Whatever you decide your thankfulness ritual will be, remember that habits are formed with conscious intention and dedication. Keep your practice simple and your heart and mind open.

Remind yourself of the bigger picture.

When you think of the entire scope of your life, many problems and annoyances become trivial. It’s then easier to let things go and not let them disturb your day or perspective.

When you seek to escape your everyday life because of unhappiness, you are not present to be grateful for how amazing you are and what surrounds you. Be thankful for the ability to breathe, for the roof over your head, financial stability, your killer cheekbones and your children. Focus on the big picture to center yourself and be thankful.

What does being thankful mean to you? Not only is it important to be thankful during the holidays, it is important to remember to be thankful every day even if there is no specific reason reminding you of doing so.

Remind yourself of the smaller picture.

Stopping to smell the roses may not be your thing, but pausing to take in the little things is vital to your well-being. Appreciate the small, curled up figure of your child before he or she wakes up to Tantrum Ville. Enjoy the smell of your coffee as it brews, and the satisfying click of door unlocking. Focus on the small things to be present and thankful.

Accept flaws for what they are, including their poignant beauty.

Being thankful is not about painting a pretty picture over an imperfect situation, because life is what it is. Being angry over a tragic loss is a part of grieving because that person was and is important to you. Your wrinkles mark your wisdom and are part of the cycle of life. Another’s behavior is not a reflection of who you are, how you respond is. Those traffic jams are annoying, but it gives you time to listen to a great song or audio book.

Yes, it’s about perspective, but you’re also still feeling those “negative” emotions. Face issues head on, be they big or small. Let yourself be thankful for the good days and the bad days.


LAUGH: Whether it’s a smirk, with a giggle in your head, or a full-blown tearing up your insides cackle, do it. Laugh “too loud?” Well, that’s too bad for complainers. There are all kinds of laughter.

Don’t be afraid to laugh or let loose. Did you know that ten to fifteen minutes of laughter can burn up to 40 calories? One study showed that laughter not only improves your day to day mood, but a few giggles will boost your memory. A little laughter goes a long way!

Thankfulness synchronizes with awareness of one’s self and daily life. The act of being thankful isn’t an “act” when you look at the big picture and the small picture, recognizing the poignant beauty of every moment.

Author's Bio: 

Kacey Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for "The Drifter Collective." Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.