By Laura Berman Fortgang, Bestselling author, Speaker, TV personality, Corporate spokesperson, Interfaith ministerAs we approach Thanksgiving, in a post-election, post-hurricane time when our feelings probably outweigh our ability to express them, I thought it might be helpful to explore some ways to say thanks and experience feeling grateful.Giddy, ecstatic, humbled, moved, awed — grateful. However the emotion registers for you, each of these actions can likely get you there. It is that intense feeling of being alive that we crave and mistakenly seek in many of the wrong places. Remember the feeling these 25 ways give you and recreate it every day.That is living. That is worth Thanksgiving.(The following list is on the webpage and can be found here🙂1. Say Thank You With Your EyesMake more eye contact with people. Really connect with the gratitude for being alive by connecting with another human through their eyes.2. Write A Thank You Note (On Paper!)Write a note that thanks someone for being in your life without them having done anything or given you anything recently.
3. Pick Up A Treasure
When you see something that reminds you of someone you care about, pick it up for them and give it to them “just because.”
4. Perform A Random Act Of Kindness
Anonymously, do something outrageously kind or generous for someone else. Never tell.
5. Tell People What They Mean To You
Do not let an opportunity go by to tell someone what they mean to you personally and/or professionally. Let people know how they make a difference in your life.
6. Create A Daily Ritual That Expresses Gratitude
List five things a day you are grateful for. Light a candle, say a prayer, tell someone you love them, or send out a daily email to your closest buds. Come up with something that will daily put you in contact with gratitude.
Hold a hand or lend a hand. Just help someone who needs help more than you do. It will give you amazing perspective on your life.
8. Make A Donation (Even If You Think You Can’t Afford To) Sharing your money, expecting nothing in return, is a powerful way to show you are grateful for what you have.
9. Write Or Create Something And Donate The Proceeds
Create something that can be sold to support a cause.
10. Give Of Yourself
The gift of your time and attention makes a great statement about how much someone means to you, especially if they don’t get it much. (Hint: Call Grandma!)
11. Make A Kid’s Day
Giving a child a special day that will forever be a happy memory will be a win-win you won’t soon forget
12. Write A Letter To The Editor
If someone in your town (a teacher, a neighbor, a service provider) did something really great, write to the editor of your town newspaper to give that person a little extra acknowledgement. Tell people how this person went out of their way to help. You’ll warm some hearts and maybe cause of positive ripple effect for the person you thanked publicly.
13. Bring A Friend Along For The Ride
If you get an opportunity of a lifetime or get ushered up your career ladder by a helping hand, bring someone you know with you. Do what you can to bring them along. Be that helping hand to the next person.
14. Share A Meal
“Breaking bread” with somebody or a group a people is a great way to express your thanks for them. Serve them as if they were kings.
15. Park Yourself In An Awesome Spot In Nature
A majestic view helps to humble your ego and help you appreciate the richness of your world.
16. Finger Paint
Get dirty finger painting and feel the energy going through your fingers as you press through the paint onto the paper. Feel the privilege of having a body that works.
17. Plant A Tree Or Some Flowers
There is a sanctity to putting living things in the earth to encourage their growth. You don’t have to be a “tree hugger” to appreciate what the earth has given you by giving something back to it.
18. Dedicate Something To Someone Significant To You
Say thank you by honoring someone with a dedication. Whether it’s something you have written or a performance, a book, or maybe even a project, dedicate it as an acknowledgment.
19. List The People That Make Your Life Easier
Write down a list of people that are in your life that do things with you or for you that make your life a little easier. Imagine if they were not there and how much would be on your plate.
20. Give Away All You No Longer Need
Taking stock of your stuff and seeing it go on to people that can use it gives you an appreciation for all you have.
21. Make Someone Something
Engage your creativity, suspend judgement and express your thanks for someone by making them a gift. Whether you have a particular craft or talent is not necessary. Share your creation and tell the receiver what you did to create it.
22. Help Someone Feel Important
Sing “Happy Birthday” at your own birthday party to someone whose birthday closely follows yours. Acknowledge someone else publicly while you hold the floor. Include someone at the “head table” of an event who would not expect to be there. Do something for someone else’s self-esteem.
23. Document Someone Else’s Life
Dust off your camcorder and record an oral history by a family member, friend or interesting acquaintance. You can even forget the camera and just get someone to talk about the stories of their life. Just when you think you’ve been through it all or you’ve hear it all, you’ll fill with the appreciation for the journey we are all on. And the gift of your listening will go a long way too.
24. Kidnap A Friend Or Loved One For A Day Devoted To Them
Show up unexpectedly and steal someone away for a day of activities handpicked for your friend’s enjoyment. Take them to eat their favorite kind of food, take them to a movie they would love to see, take them to their favorite sporting event or shopping place. Plan a day that has nothing to do with you. Devote it to them.
25. Say Thank You And Mean It
“Thank you” can sometimes take on the same worn familiarity as your most comfy slippers and lose it’s true value. Pay more attention as you say it and really mean it.