Malinda Larimer Shares How She’s Exercising Gratitude

“Letting in a tiny bit of gratitude made way for more.”

If you have not downloaded the Thrive ZP App, you really should. It is a simple — and free — way to teach yourself to make Better Choices. One of the new categories is Gratitude, which is such a fitting topic for the month of Thanksgiving. 

One of the Thrive ZP Better Choices I came across the other day said, “Have each family member identify one thing they are thankful for at dinner.” I thought this sounded like a cute dinner conversation I could share with my kids and decided to try it. 

That evening I shared the task as we were eating dinner. I started with, “I’m thankful that no matter how stressful my day is, I get to come home to my comfortable house and loving family.” My 14-year-old daughter said, “The house is a good one. I am definitely thankful for our house.” We then looked at my 3-year-old son and said, “What about you? What are you thankful for?” He just looked up and said, “The Incredible Hulk.” We rolled with laughter. 

Ah, laughter! That is another thing I am thankful for. Laughter brings healing. 

The truth is, we are all struggling this year, in so many different ways. It has been really hard to stay positive and have faith that everything is eventually going to be OK. I know I am not the only one that misses my extended family. I know I am not the only one that lays awake at night trying to figure out how we are going to make it to payday. I know I am not the only one that wonders what Thanksgiving is going to be like, or Christmas, or even next year.

It seems like negative is all I can see when I am in a negative place, and it is hard to have gratitude sometimes. That few minutes of laughter I shared with my kids was priceless. It opened me up to so many things I forgot I was grateful for. One simple little exercise and suddenly I was a little lighter. Letting in that tiny bit of gratitude made way for more.

My new goal in life is to try to think of something I am thankful for each day and then actually let myself enjoy that positivity. Instead of focusing on the dark, I will embrace the light. That may not solve any of my problems, but it will definitely help me enjoy “the now.” No good comes from worrying about things you have no control over. This moment is all you have. Wouldn’t you rather spend it with a smile on your face? 

—Malinda Larimer, Bentonville, AR

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