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22 Things Everyone Always Forget to Be Thankful For

22 Things Everyone Always Forget to Be Thankful For

Today is not Thanksgiving. As a matter of fact, it’s not even close. However, taking daily doses of gratitude helps fight the disease of taking all of life’s important things for granted. We can all find things on this list for which we are thankful. If there are people on this list who make you thankful, make it a habit to let them know!

You woke up this morning

The MOST important thing to be thankful for on this list. Whether you woke up at 5:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. (which isn’t technically morning), waking up gives you the opportunity to face the day and anything that comes with it.

You can laugh

Laughter relieves stress, boosts the immune system, decreases pain, and shifts your perspective. It truly is the best medicine and something to be thankful for! In the words of Charles Dickens,

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

You have the ability to read

The ability to read is a gift often taken for granted but used everyday. The world literacy rate is at about 84% (people age 15 and over). So if you find yourself in that number (and I assume you are, otherwise you wouldn’t be here!), be thankful!

Your teachers

If you love (or know how) to read, #ThankATeacher! We have all had teachers, whether they be parents or employed by a school. Teachers pour massive amounts of time, energy, and effort into their students and that is definitely something to be appreciated.

National Teacher Appreciation Day is May 7, but take time to appreciate a teacher today!

You have common sense

Someone once told me, “Common sense and the ability to reason are things I am thankful for every single time I come across someone who does not posses them.” I couldn’t put it any better.

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Your job

Although you may not be particularly pleased with your hours, your pay, or your boss at the job or jobs you currently have, being employed is definitely something to be thankful for. Having a method of providing for yourself and/or your family is an essential key to life.

Your talents and skills

I am grateful and thankful every time someone shares or appreciates something I write. I am thankful, not because it means I am great, but because it means that my skill of writing has communicated a message that has connected with someone else. And everyone reading this has skills and talents of their own, not to be compared with anyone else’s, but to be honed and used to the best of their ability.

Your public servants

Imagine a world without the post service, police officers, medics, your representatives and congressmen, and the people who work to clear those long lines at the DMV. Not a fun place to live without these services. You can be thankful for the contribution each and every public servant makes to maintain your way of life.

Your emotions

What would life be without emotions? Would being happy or glad be so rewarding if there was no emotion of sadness? Emotions, whether they be good or bad, add flavor and variety to life. Take time to appreciate each emotion for what it is telling you. And share in the emotions of others! Shared sadness makes it bearable, and shared happiness is that much sweeter.

You can see

The human eye can see approximately 10 million colors. TEN MILLION! The palette of colors, shapes, and sizes, much like the variety of emotions, makes each moment in life different if only we would pay attention. And not only sight, but the rest of the senses as well! Take the time to be thankful for the feel of plush carpet between your toes, the sound of your kids’ laughter, and the smell of freshly baked banana bread!

You have food

Speaking of banana bread….

Be thankful that you have food to eat, food in your refrigerator, pantry, cupboard, or even a taco truck across the street.

At least 50 million Americans were unable to afford food at some point last year. and 842 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. These striking numbers should incite not only a spirit of gratitude, but encourage you to help those 842 million in any way you can.

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You are healthy

Be thankful that the doctor can’t remember your name! Being in good health is something that is assumed, taken for granted until it is no longer there. Being grateful for good health doesn’t just mean celebrating no trips to the doctor either. One of the best ways to be thankful for good health is to maintain it. Get the right amount of sleep, drink water, exercise, and keep up a proper diet to ensure that this stays on the list of things you are thankful for.

Your true friends

Your Facebook friends may reach high into the thousands.

You may have 800 followers on Twitter.

British anthropologist Robin Dunbar proposed that a person can only maintain stable social relationships with about 150 people.

These are all very nice, but it is your true friends, the number you may be able to count on one hand or finger, who you should be the most thankful for. The friends who you can call at 2:30 a.m., the loyal, non-judgmental, brutally honest true friends. Be thankful for them and do all you can to maintain those relationships!

Your family

Family is family. While friends have been called the ‘family’ you choose, nothing can replace your family. Your brothers and sisters, your parents and grandparents have all played an intricate part in helping you get to where you are now. Take the time to keep in touch and let them know how much you appreciate them!

You are loved

No matter the situation with your friends, or with your family, know that you are loved. Just knowing that someone out there cares for you makes getting through a tough day or situation a little bit easier.

You have clean water

Water is life. But 783 million people do not have access to clean water, and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. Approximately 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases. Be thankful.

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You have a place to live

Be thankful for your home, whether you have four garages or four simple rooms that you share with your four simple roommates (trust me, I’ve been there). Having four walls and a ceiling above you is not to be taken for granted, especially in these winter months, when depending on where you are, temperatures can dip below zero.

Also, take the opportunity to help the homeless in your neighborhood! What better way to show that you are grateful for what you have?

You can be thankful for some of the negative situations in your life as well!

Your exes

They were here, and for whatever reason, they’re gone. But what they left behind, besides their bad taste in CDs and old t-shirts, are lessons that you can take and apply to the next relationship you enter into to make it better than any that came before. Your future thanks your exes.

Your struggles

“It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing.  Then everything would be.  It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth.  When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder – or impossible – to lose.”  ―Sarah Dessen

And if you have read through this list and don’t connect with too many things listed here, whether it is because they don’t exist for you or have not been present in your life, these last few are especially for you:

You have the ability to change your situation

Be thankful that you have the opportunity to make positive changes in your life.

Do you have an estranged relationship with your family? Think about any small steps you can take to fix it.

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Not currently working? Make unemployment your job. Search, apply, and interview until something changes.

Don’t think you have true friends? Be a true friend to someone else.

You are a survivor

You may not have a home, you may not have had a good family, and you may not have had good teachers.

You might be in a period of prolonged unemployment, and you may have recurring health issues.

But you have survived it all to make it this far, and each breath is a reminder of the fact that….

You are alive.

Which means everything else in this list is still a possibility.

What else are you thankful for? WHO are you thankful for? Share below in the comments.

More by this author

CJ Goulding

CJ Goulding is the Lead Organizer at Natural Leaders Network, building leaders and connections in and between humans.

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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