Why Being Grateful Will Change Your Life

Bright things ahead.

By Camille Styles

*ed note: Happy Thanksgiving, friends! What a year it has been… Today I’m sharing a post that I wrote for Thanksgiving last year. It’s interesting to look back and read my thoughts when I couldn’t have imagined the challenges that 2020 would hold. That said, it’s a reminder that some things never change, and that we have a choice to approach today – and the coming months – with a spirit of gratitude and a desire to see beauty in the world. Today is a great opportunity to spend a few minutes reflecting on what we’ve learned and how we’re growing through this experience. Hope you’re all healthy and happy today – and enjoying some really delicious food. Biggest hugs to each of you.

A few months ago, I tried an experiment. I decided to see what would happen if I was extra friendly to every stranger I encountered for a week. I’m talking “big smile, direct eye contact, outside my comfort zone” friendly. It meant not scrolling through Instagram while I waited in line for coffee, resisting the urge to chat on the phone while I grocery shopped, and not getting lost in my own thoughts so that I could pay attention to what – and who – was happening all around me. In other words, being truly present with everyone who crossed my path, even if I didn’t know them.

image by @frenchbydesign

So what happened? Countless random smiles thrown my direction, conversations started by total strangers, and a string of awesome days that left me feeling extra happy inside.

It wasn’t a coincidence; I was experiencing the oft-quoted truth that our thoughts become our actions, which become our habits, which become our destiny — in other words, our thoughts take shape and form who we really are.

a healthier honey cake for rosh hashana

image source

Nowhere do our thoughts manifest themselves so much as when we choose to adopt a spirit of gratitude. We’re all incredibly rich in so many ways, whether it’s our good health, family and friends, comfortable home, or a job that allows us to use our gifts. What would happen if we woke up each morning — not just today on Thanksgiving but normal days too — with a heart overflowing with gratitude for all the gifts in our lives? Perhaps it would erase our tendency to compare ourselves others’, or to always want more… instead allowing us to rest in the confidence that we’re enough and that we’re right where we’re supposed to be.

camille styles bedroom

So friends, on this Thanksgiving, let’s put away distractions, stress, and long to-do lists and start cultivating a habit of gratitude. One of the best ways to do this is journaling, or even keeping a simple list of what we’re most grateful for in our lives.

Then on those inevitable days when nothing seems to be going right (you know, the “overslept, spilled my coffee, hate my outfit, missed my workout, and ate crap for lunch” kind of days) I can reset my mind and show up with a spirit of gratitude.

camille styles bedroom, reading magazines and cozy fall candle

Today I’m thankful for my sweet and spirited kids, a kitchen counter overflowing with fall vegetables, a body that allows me to run and workout, coffee, my team that feels more like family, a warm bed at the end of a long day, and getting to do life with my favorite human (Adam, that is.)

I’d love to hear what you’re most thankful for today in the comments! Sending big hugs across the web, and hope that all of y’all have a wonderful, relaxing, and delicious Thanksgiving with the people you love.