Things I Am Thankful For: Creatively Reconnecting to What Matters to You

Leo Babauta wrote a wonderful article on Zen Habits titled Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make You Happy. If you have not read the post, it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. In summary, thankfulness makes people more aware of the positive aspects of their life and can even make negative aspects more positive. By reflecting on these positive aspects, we feel better.

A friend of mine and I made this poster together during an extremely difficult and painful day. While it did not make the situation change, it did make us (and a few other friends who made some additions) feel better. I have had it on my wall since then, and I like to look at it and remember that these are things that my friend and I are thankful for.

If you see a sheet of poster board at the store, why not take it along with you and make it into a creative expression of thankfulness and positive thoughts. Even if it is on a small sheet of paper, simply recalling what you are thankful for can be uplifting and comforting.

This is also a wonderful activity for children. It allows them to express their creativity and also connect with positive thoughtfulness.

If you find that you have difficulty identifying what you are thankful for, consider these questions:
  • Who are you thankful for in your life? What have they done for you? What have you done together? What characteristics make them special to you?
  • What places are you thankful to have been to? What did you like about them? What positive memories do they bring back?
  • What emotions are you thankful for?
  • Are there certain types of weather you enjoy? What do you like about that weather?
  • Do you look forward to certain days in the week or year? Why do you like about them?
  • What activities do you look forward to doing or seeing?

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