In the spirit of Thanksgiving, gratitude seemed to be the perfect topic for this month’s blog. Thanksgiving is the season of gratitude and a time where we give thanks. Maybe your family has a tradition of going around the table to say what each person is thankful for, donating food to those in need or volunteering at a soup kitchen. Think of how good these things feel, and imagine if this feeling were incorporated into your everyday life, how fulfilled might you feel? In what ways might it enrich your life?
I talk with my clients often about how gratitude can change your outlook and transform how you think. Gratitude can help us to feel happy with what we have, appreciate our relationships, and avoid taking things like waking up each day or our health for granted. Below are 3 tips for practicing gratitude.
1. Create a Gratitude List or Journal. List the things and people you are grateful for and review it when you need it most. Spend some time each day by journaling on what you can be grateful for that day. This might include what made you feel happy, who inspired you, one thing you did that was positive. For a challenge, try to find a way to be grateful for something negative that you experienced, identify the hidden blessing or think about what can you learn from it.
2. Express Gratitude to Others. There are so many ways to express your gratitude to others and the best part is that good feeling is infectious! Tell your loved ones how much you appreciate them, say thank you to a co-work for their hard work, write a thank you note to someone who’s helped you. We can even do this with strangers smile at someone, say thank you when someone holds the door open, go out of your way to do something nice. This can go such a long way and really make someone’s day (and yours too!)
3. Meditate on it. Start your day with intention by reflecting on something you feel grateful for. Incorporate these feelings of gratitude into your meditation. Consider the many things for which you are grateful, perhaps nurturing relationships, material possessions, or your body and mind that allow you to experience the world around you. Be grateful for each moment knowing that nothing in life is guaranteed.
I will leave you with this meditation and the challenge to take 3 minutes out to cultivate your gratitude! Namaste.