When we’re in the midst of a life challenge, everything can seem overwhelming. But problems can be much easier to face when we focus on gratitude for what we have in our lives rather than what’s lacking, or on things that are out of our control. Appreciating family and friends, or just being out in nature, for example, can give us an immediate boost. And being grateful on a regular basis can actually lower stress and improve our well-being.
Here are three ways Thrive Challenge winners have incorporated gratitude into their daily lives.
1. Express your gratitude to your partner — just saying “thank you” feels good.
“When I started appreciating my husband Ken more, it was tremendous for our relationship. Ken and I are doing the Thrive Challenge together and find that being grateful for each other is bonding. Now, we take the time to talk to each other and we’re doing DIY projects together. We built a deck in the backyard, which was great fun. We’ve learned to be kind and say affectionate things like: ‘I appreciate you. I love you. Thank you.’”
—Lakreisha (Keisha) Staples, #5823 Supercenter; Dallas, TX; $5K Winner
2. Be grateful to yourself — you’re worth it!
“Every day I make sure I appreciate myself for my achievements. I’m grateful to myself for losing all this weight — 60 pounds! I’m grateful that I don’t have asthma anymore, that my blood pressure has gone down, and thatI have the energy to go to the park and play with my grandson and keep up with him. I dance in front of the mirror and say, ‘You look good!’ And I feel good, I feel wonderful. I’m alive.”
—Sheila Edwards, Supercenter #3205; Lithia Springs, GA, 5K Winner
3. Write down what you’re grateful for, even things that seem ordinary.
“I’ve learned that gratitude isn’t only about the big moments. It can be something as little as waking up in the morning, which not everybody has the pleasure of doing, or having dinner, or watching movies with your family. Just small things like that are amazing to me. I’ve noticed in the past couple of weeks, I’ll randomly stop working and jot things down in my journal. Just taking five minutes to myself and writing the things down that make me happy resets my mind to go back to work.
— Aja Wells, Walmart Customer, Newport News, VA; $5K Winner