November is National Gratitude Month. With the holiday season upon us, it is a time to celebrate and give thanks for all things big and small in our lives. Whether it’s good health, love, a bed to sleep in, the kindness of strangers, or family and a feast on Thanksgiving, there is always something to be grateful for.
Being thankful and grateful goes way beyond a simple “thank you.” It helps shift our focus on the negative to appreciate all the positive aspects of our lives. When we practice gratitude, our lives have the ability to improve and thrive. From enhanced moods, decreased stress levels, improved immune function, and more efficient sleep, we can better control our health and well-being through positive changes to our mindset. By practicing daily gratitude, we may find a deeper connection to ourselves and to our surroundings. Every single day, find something to be grateful for.
Here are 5 ways to be grateful, starting today:
1. Keep a gratitude journal
Reminding yourself what you are grateful for in your life and taking note of it on a daily basis helps reinforce how thankful you truly are.
2. Be present
Act slowly and deliberately and put space between activities. This allows you to savor every moment, so you aren’t rushing to the next thing. When you’re talking to someone, give them your undivided attention. Stop worrying about the future and live in the moment.
3. Practice mindfulness
Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive things your life will start to change for the better. Listen to others. Be aware of your feelings and use the right language to explain yourself.
4. Practice breathing or meditation
Connect with your inner self and with your senses. Focus your attention to your breath and notice how you are feeling and when your mind starts to wander. Bring your attention back to your breath and enjoy the stillness and peace.
5. Create a well balanced, healthy lifestyle
Show gratitude to your body by taking care of it. Fuel it, challenge it, rest it, listen to it. Fall in love with taking care of yourself – mind, body, & soul. You only have one body, so take care of it!
Gratitude turns what we have into enough. Enjoy each moment and give thanks for all of the opportunities and struggle life brings. Once you cultivate the habit of gratitude, your life becomes more fulfilling. Happy Thanksgiving from my grateful heart to yours!
Part 1 of 2017 Holiday Health & Wellness Series