This time of year is the perfect time to begin a list that encourages you to reflect on the people, places, things and experiences in your life for which you are thankful.  The following exercise may seem easy at first, but as time goes on, you will find that it challenges you to look for the simple things in life that bring enjoyment to each day.  You might even find that you begin to look at the world through a new lens, with a more positive, grateful outlook!

The exercise: Each night before you go to bed, make a list of three things for which you are thankful.  The catch is that you can never repeat items on your list.  So, the first couple of weeks you might be listing things that seem obvious, such as family, your home, health, friends, etc.  But , once those items are listed, you have to begin thinking of other things that may not be so obvious.  Maybe you are thankful for a great bowl of ice cream you enjoyed that day, or a nice person who held the door open for you, or better yet, finding a first rate parking space somewhere you went that day.  You may find that as time goes on, you begin looking for the positives in each day, and enjoying those moments even more than you used to.  Be sure to date each entry, because it is such fun to reflect back on your list.  You will find it triggers wonderful memories and moments from days gone by.  You may be surprised at just how much you have for which to be thankful!

Tamra Hughes, MA, LPC    http://www.thcounseling.com