Here's what to do:
• Download your gratitude chart by clicking here.
• You can print your chart and then fill it out, or you can fill it out on your computer.
• Add to your chart whenever you think of something you're grateful for.
• Review this special project whenever you're feeling down in the dumps and need a reminder of all the wonderful things in your life.
Focusing on the positive can be an effective way to boost your mood. "It’s so easy sometimes to not be grateful on a daily basis, but when I stop to think about all the amazing people and all the good things in my life, I get it. And when I do focus on all the positives, it makes me feel better, too," says Canadian Living Life Editor, Donna Paris.
Doing a small act to express your gratitude and connect with others can go a long way. "It doesn’t take much," says Paris. "Saying a simple, heartfelt thank you (two little words that make a big impact) and showing my appreciation to people who help me gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, and hopefully, makes them feel good, too."
"Take Angie, the woman at my local coffee shop where I stop every morning, who makes sure to get me my coffee just the way I like it because she knows what a big difference that makes," says Paris. "I brought her a few muffins I baked one Saturday morning and a little thank-you card. Or Kavita, the parking lot attendant where I work, who flashes me a big smile every morning. I’m sure some mornings she doesn’t feel like it. So I give her a Canadian Living magazine every month hot off the press to show my appreciation. To my coworkers, it may be a quick e-mail thanking them for helping me with a work issue and making my job easier. And for my mom, who calls me every day to inquire about my health, I give her an ‘I love you, you are the best mom in the world!’ at the end of each phone call."
Another way to honour what you're grateful for is to pay it forward – instead of, or in addition to repaying an act of kindness, you can do a good deed for someone else. As an added bonus, you can't help but feel good when you're helping others.
Get into the routine of taking a few minutes each day to reflect on what you're thankful for and recording it in your chart. This simple exercise can help remind you of what’s important to you and the benefits of saying thanks.