When we cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes our way, we are more open to what’s good in our lives, our awareness tends to increase and it becomes easier to notice the positive things around us. Gratitude helps to improve our mood and increases our sense of well-being. I want to share with you 5 things you can do to start or boost your gratitude practice:
Keep a gratitude journal: every day take a moment to journal about one thing that you’re grateful for. Try to name something small that you take for granted and appreciate having it!
Start a morning gratitude ritual: You can have everyone in the family name one thing they are thankful for at the beginning of the day while you’re having breakfast or taking the kids to school. This practice tends to help children and adults see all the positive things that they have already.
Keep a gratitude Jar: This is something I do! I tend to put in my gratitude jar small tokens, pictures, drawings my kids or clients have made for me, or I write in a small paper about a moment I feel grateful for. When I’m feeling sad or nostalgic I open my jar and go over all these items. My mood tends to shift immediately.
Keep a gratitude list on your fridge: Have everyone at home contribute to the list and take a moment once a month to read it! Kids love to make drawings and add items to the list. Teaching gratitude to children prevents them to have an attitude of entitlement and exhibit demanding behaviors. This practice tends to teach them the value of things (big and small).
Pay a “Gratitude Visit” by creating letters to people who have done something good for you, big or small, and that has impacted your life in some way this year. Start by closing your eyes and thinking of someone who did something or said something that really impacted you and who might not even know it. Once you have a person in mind write her a letter describing the event in detail, how you felt and the ways her actions or words impacted your life. Once you finish the letter you can call the person and let her know you want to pay her a visit without providing any details. Once you are with that person read the letter to her and pay attention to her body language and the way she receives your words. Notice also your feelings while you read the letter.
There is power in gratitude. This holiday season take your gratitude beyond the thanksgiving dinner and start to feel the benefits of being truly thankful!
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”