Gratitude is one of the trickier virtues. After all, it’s really easy to get bogged down by little annoyances — traffic jams, whining kiddos, or office drama —and lose sight of the bigger picture. This is especially tough to keep in mind on Thanksgiving, when the goal to create a Pinterest-perfect holidays gets to you. To help keep things in perspective, there are some great books that remind us to be thankful, not only on Turkey Day, but all year round.
These books approach the idea of gratitude with sincerity, and offer lessons on maintaining a positive outlook without veering into cheesy territory. There are colorful illustrations, inspiring photographs, and even a fun coloring book included in the selection, so there’s a little something for everyone. Whatever stresses are weighing on you this holiday season, these reads will help you keep things in perspective.
Most of the books give tips on developing the habit of looking on the bright side of things every day. Some are deep poetic meditations, and some are colorfully illustrated collections of quotes. Hopefully you will find one that resonates with you and your family. By the time next Thanksgiving comes around, you’ll have a mile-long list of things to be thankful for.
1. 'The Gratitude Diaries'
If you’re interested in keeping a gratitude journal but need some help getting in gear, The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan will give you a great starting point. The author’s experiences with a year of living gratefully might be the inspiration you need to keep a positive outlook.
2. 'Radical Gratitude'
Ellen Vaughn's Radical Gratitude explores the idea of living with daily gratitude through powerful and emotional storytelling. Vaughn points out the cumulative effects of gratitude as well: the more you think about it, the more you will find to be thankful for in your own life.
3. 'Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier'
Is mindful gratitude the secret to a happier life? Explore this idea with Robert A. Emmons' Thanks. Filled with information from scientific studies, as well as philosophic views.
4. 'Gratitude: A Way Of Life'
If you need some thankfulness inspiration, Louise Hay's Gratitude: A Way of Life has you covered. Featuring brief articles from renowned teachers and authors, these inspirational words will help you look on the bright side.
5. ' Thankful For: Intricate Coloring Book for Adults'
For hands-on, creative types, Thankful For by Niki Alling and Bless K. is just what you need. Combine the inherent meditative benefits of coloring with the book's themes of thankfulness, and you're certain to feel blessed in no time.
6. 'Catalog Of Unabashed Gratitude'
For the more poetic soul, Ross Gay's Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a study of thankfulness in the face of loss. Enjoy this professor's beautiful collection with its striking imagery and universal themes.
7. 'Wear Gratitude (Like A Sweater)'
Susa Talan's Wear Gratitude (Like a Sweater) is a gorgeous, whimsical approach to gratitude. Each page features a meditation on thankfulness with an illustration from Talan. For instance, the wisdom of Aristotle is combined with the drawing of a big-eyed, stylized owl. It's a fun way to get your daily dose of gratitude.
8. 'Attitudes Of Gratitude'
M.J. Ryan's Attitudes of Gratitude acts as a how-to guide for a thankful life. By learning to focus on the positive with real-life practices, readers may adopt new habits that lead to a happier life.