How to Practice the Power of Gratitude
Sometimes the best medicine can simply be gratitude, the quality of being thankful. Gratitude is known to have a wealth of health benefits. For example, it’s an effective stress buster, immune booster and mood enhancer.
While this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday is the perfect reminder to pause and take a moment to give thanks, it’s not a bad idea to apply this practice everyday of the year.
Here are ways you and your loved ones can express gratitude and make it a permanent mindful practice:
1. Gratitude Jar
Find a big jar, place it in a highly visible location in your home and put it beside a small pad of paper and pen. Make it a habit to write one thing you are grateful for each day on a slip of paper and toss it in the jar. Watch your jar fill up with gratefulness over the year. Then, lift your positivity even more and reflect on the year by reading through the slips of goodness on New Year’s Eve.
2. Gratitude Journal
Before bedtime, write down 1-3 things you are grateful for in a journal. This is a great way to end your day on a positive note. And, an added bonus, this positive task might even improve your sleep!
3. Gratitude Meal Starter
Take a moment to pause and give thanks before every meal. Since eating is typically a routine habit, this is a great time to tack on another quick habit that also creates a more mindful, positive eating experience.
4. Gratitude Communication
Once a month, make it a goal to tell at least one person you appreciate them in some way. This can be shared verbally by passing on a compliment, through a heartfelt letter/email/social media post or even via a small gift. Just let someone know how thankful you are to have him or her in your life.
By noting things that bring you joy and happiness, you may even learn a little more about yourself as it makes you more conscious. For example, is there a pattern to what brings you joy…food, people, an activity, sunshine? This mental note will help you find ways to add even more goodness to your life. Additionally, you may even find your relationships grow and strengthen as your appreciation, mood and openness expands.
In the words of Charles Dickens, take a moment each day to “reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”