It’s been noted that gratuitous people are happier people. On Veterans day, we must remember to honor those that serve us and our country selflessly, sacrificing every day. Life is never guaranteed, especially when you’re in hostile environments. Leave your political leanings aside and be grateful we have such selfless individuals to serve and protect us. Whatever their motivations and their reasons, we must remember how important it is to not only thank our Vets but also everyone around us.

Ways to stay grateful:

1. Write at least two things you are grateful for in a journal every day. Keep it with you, do it before bed, whenever. I have trouble keeping this habit, I will admit, but when I do, I find that I am truly happier.

2. Be mindful all day of the things you can potentially write in your journal. Just being aware of these things can help elevate your mood and improve your interaction with the world.

3. If you tend to be self-deprecating and hard on yourself, include things you are grateful for about yourself. Or write things you are proud of yourself for.

Remember, the Buddha said that receiving a human birth was more rare than the chance for a blind turtle to stick its head into a small hoop in the wide ocean. Be thankful you’re alive. If you’re having trouble valuing your life (this may sound crazy but it’s more common than you may realize), may I suggest reading How many people does it take to make a difference: One.

Finally, do not forget that you are part of a bigger context. You’re not alone and you must thank whomever you think deserves praise for that fact (as people may attribute this to varying things and people).

Having gratitude will help you weather life’s storms. This practice is not the denial of life’s difficulties. Rather, it is the realization that life can be extremely difficult and choosing to be grateful anyway (awareness and acceptance are basic tenants of meditation). You were put here for a reason. Ignore anyone who suggests otherwise.

Have a wonderful holiday.

Namaste. Jenna

photos courtesy of The US Army and The US Army