Creative Content Editor
Between the release of Ariana Grande’s, “thank u, next” and, of course, the Thanksgiving holiday, gratitude continues to be an inescapable topic this November.
This year, instead of panicking to think of something last minute when my family went around the Thanksgiving dinner table saying what we are grateful for, I decided to commit to cultivating an attitude of gratitude for an entire week — instead of just one day.
After reading some articles and blog posts about all of the ways that gratitude can hypothetically change your life, I decided that the simplest and most popular way to cultivate gratitude would be to keep a nightly list of three things from each day that I was grateful for.
Research has shown that maintaining an attitude of gratitude is something that can have benefits beyond the holiday season. There is a demonstrated link between gratitude and improved mental health of veterans, heightened self-esteem in athletes and overall higher levels of happiness and physical health in adults.
Studies have even shown that keeping a gratitude journal leads to higher quality sleep, which is appealing to any over-caffeinated college student.
By the end of the the week, was I feeling like a bright-eyed Gwyneth Paltrow-esque lifestyle guru? Definitely not.
But, I did find that as I went about my day I was looking for things to remember to write down later. I approached my daily tasks with a different perspective, and I actively paid attention to all of the small lucky moments that I might usually forget or take for granted.
Because of this exercise, I took the time to be thankful when a nice Honda let me merge onto the highway during rush hour, and when I spilled coffee on my way to class, but none of it got on my white sweater.
I remembered to thank my friends and family for all of the times — stressful and joyful — that they have been there for me. And of course, I found myself including my dog, Ripley, on the list quite a few times throughout the week.
Above all else, when Thanksgiving Day rolled around, I was more prepared than ever when it was my turn to share what I am grateful for.