As we approach the holiday season, when families and friends gather together for delicious food and good company, I am again pondering this theme of thankfulness. Every year, there seems to be as many challenges as there are highlights, and my outlook on life often depends on the circumstances surrounding me. Did I get a good night’s sleep last night? Do I have a mountain of tasks to accomplish today? What stressful obstacles am I dealing with this week? The answers directly affect my attitude.

But what if there was a way to change that? What if I could somehow shift my outlook to focus on the bigger picture and highlight the positive things that are happening in my life? Saying “thank you” more might be just what I need.

American author Douglas Wood claims that the secret of saying thanks is this; “The heart that gives thanks is a happy one, for we cannot feel thankful and unhappy at the same time.”

That resonates as a profound truth in my mind. When you are feeling truly thankful for the blessings in life, it is impossible to not experience a sense of happiness. The reason is that you are telling your brain to focus on the memories and life circumstances that it recognizes as positive rather than the difficulties of the present time.

However, it is not just about SAYING thank you, it is about FEELING thankful. Over the course of each day, can I take moments to reflect and say thank you for every blessing that crosses my mind?

  • Can I thank a family member who has supported me with their love and care?
  • Can I thank a coworker for being understanding when my mind was elsewhere while at the office?
  • Can I thank the barista who makes my coffee and actually mean it?
  • Can I thank the delivery driver who dropped off a package at my house before they head back to their truck?
  • Can I thank a client who has let me be a part of their financial dreams?

The more we say “thank you” during the holiday season, the happier we will be. This will give us the ability to truly appreciate this time of gathering, celebrating, and memory-making with those that we love. Let’s focus on improving our outlook on life by saying “thank you” more, starting today.