Being Grateful and Giving Thanks

With the momentum for stress building due to the upcoming (US) holidays, I find it more important than ever to take a few minutes each day to give thanks and be grateful for all that I have – regarding my writing life and my whole life.

Diane wrote about how gratitude is one of the best feelings we human beings can feel. And she opened by talking about how when we’re in a state of appreciation, we can’t also (at the same time) be in a state of fear or lack. She shares some of what she’s thankful for and has great prompts for us.

Julie talked about the gratitude journal after reading Simple Abundance. It suggests writing down 5 things, every day that you are truly grateful for. She gave us a baker’s dozen of writing-related things she’s grateful for.


I have a gratitude / thankful journal, but don’t write in it every day.  I do, however, give thanks every day. If I’m not writing the items down, I’m spending a few moments before bed saying my thanks out loud. Sometimes it can be a lot more than 5 things, sometimes the 5 things became the basics: fresh air, clean clothes, food in the fridge that wasn’t moldy, hot water, a new writing project.

I used to find the holiday season stressful: pressure to find the ‘right’ gift, dealing with family dynamics, increased traffic, crowded malls, work deadlines that didn’t account for all the delays due to increased traffic and crowded malls, cards to write and mail, and, oh, decorating! So much to do and not enough time to do it!

It’s this time of year, and during stressful moments, when we need to pause, take a deep breath, and spend a moment connecting with what is good.

Stop. For a moment.

Breathe. Slowly in, hold it, slowly out.


Be still, breathe, and look around.

Look not just at what is around you at the moment in the physical space, but look around inside yourself and discover all the positive feelings, recognize what makes you smile, listen to the sounds around you.

You can be grateful for being able see, feel, and hear. Already 3 things, right there. You may see a mess that needs to be cleaned up. You may feel aches and pains. You may hear a generator instead of silence. But you can be grateful to have those sensations, those abilities — not everyone does.

As Thanksgiving comes rushing toward us this week, I hope you can find a minute each day to pause and either write down or say out loud, at least 5 things you are grateful or thankful for.

This morning I’m grateful for technology (to do my work), the sunrise (to light up the room), fresh coffee (need I say more), writing projects (to pay the bills), and fleece (to keep the chill away).

What are at least 5 things you are grateful for right now?

Lisa_2015Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with manufacturing, software, and technology businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

12 thoughts on “Being Grateful and Giving Thanks

  1. This is a really nice post. The intention behind it is great.

    Defiantly partaking: I’ve got my wonderful dog, a new book arriving in the post today, fantastic walking weather, a family member dropping me off at the train station and I’m going out tonight to try a new Italian place.

  2. Uff, this is good to hear but hard. Having/struggling with some relationship issues and it’s definitely altering my state of mind as far as finding things to be grateful for. But here goes: I have two awesome dogs, who are like my children. They make me smile when nothing else will. I have a vehicle to drive to get to work, I have a job that pays the bills. I have shoes on my feet, and can even choose which ones I want to wear. Not everyone can do this. I have a new scarf, that keeps out the winter chills coming in, I live in a pretty rad city.

    Thank you. This helps.

  3. Thank you for this posting. Being able to be thankful in all circumstance is part of a full life, I believe. Not simply thankful for the good things but for the strength to overcome the bad. When you have a ‘God contact’ thankfulness fuels your whole life and that includes your writing, your environment and everyone and everything around. I have a friend who turned 100 last month.
    When she opens her eyes each morning she affirms. ‘Thank God I am still breathing’. Your reminder today is appreciated.

  4. I’ve been keeping a Gratitude Journal for the past five years. It’s been a powerful and extremely positive thing to have in my life. Strange as it might sound it’s almost become like a friend to me!! Thank you for the post.

  5. Grateful for this blog! A rowdy chaotic house of boys. Moscow Mules. The ability to articulate my thoughts and feelings through writing. Socks for the cold nights. Thank you!

  6. Pingback: The Act of Gratitude | Live to Write – Write to Live

  7. Enjoyed the post. I too have gotten into the gratitude attitude the last several years and it does help so much to make life less stressful. Right now my five are: 1) getting a much needed bathroom remodel before I wound up under the house in a collapsed shower or commode.
    2) finding a very capable and competent person to do the remodel, do it well, at a price that is doable.
    3) Learning how to do MovieMaker for video production (still learning) and getting three of a series done. Improvements each time.
    4) My son, daughter-in-law, and grand daughter to make life interesting and fun.
    5) All the people in my life who not only care, but are good to let me know they care in the little thoughtful actions that give a shout-out daily on their love and kindness.

  8. Pingback: The Thanksgiving Reader | Live to Write – Write to Live

  9. I know this sounds hokey but I have a ‘gratitude acorn’ on my desk. It’s just an acorn I picked up from my driveway. Every day it reminds me to be grateful about something, anything, even small stuff that I’m too embarrassed to mention here because they may seem silly to others. If you’re ever at a loss about something to be grateful for, there’s always just being up and at your desk, sunlight, something you’ve read, something funny that someone told you, etc. Being grateful is a habit.

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