Today, November 30th, marks the last day of a 30 day practice that I like to do every November wherein I share something that I’m grateful for online. How often do you focus on the things that you’re grateful for? I used to be a big complainer…I always had something negative to say, whether it was just that I was tired, or it was too cold outside, or too hot, or I was too stressed or busy or poor, etc., etc., etc. Thank goodness I became interested in practicing Mindfulness and gratitude. Living in the moment more gave me the opportunity to really take in all the small details of my life and surroundings, and to take the time to notice the plethora of things that I have to be grateful for. You don’t have to be rich; you don’t have to have the most amazing job, a million friends, and the nicest car to find things to be thankful for. With a little thought and awareness, you’ll find that you have countless things and experiences to be grateful for. Can you walk? Then you should be grateful to your body for that! Can you hear music? Well that is certainly something to appreciate. Do you have food when you want and need it? Well not everyone does! Did you know that focusing on things that you’re grateful for, and taking a moment to really feel the gratitude in your body can develop new pathways in your brain? It can actually help to reduce symptoms of depression! Well what are you waiting for?
Here are some tips to help you get started with developing a regular practice of gratitude. I recommend recording your discoveries of gratitude in a journal or an app.
- Throughout your day, check in with yourself frequently to see if there is something that you are experiencing that you can be grateful for. Especially notice moments when you are feeling excited, happy, or warm and fuzzy inside. Did someone do or say something that made you feel this way? What are you noticing in your surroundings and in your body?
Feel free to write down these thoughts and feelings on the spot, or store them away in your memory bank so you can record them at night before you go to bed.
- Have you noticed anyone throughout your day that may have some sort of limitation? The point of this is not to compare yourself to others but rather to give yourself the opportunity to be grateful for what you DO have!
- Notice if you have made any sort of improvements in yourself or your life from the past. These are things to be grateful for!
- Did you do something nice, thoughtful, compassionate, or caring for yourself or someone else? Be grateful toward yourself!
- Have you witnessed the beauty of nature? Did it touch you in some way? Keep track of these things!
I’m grateful to you for reading my article today! What are you grateful for? Notice it, write it down, and savor the feeling in your whole body for a minute. It will impact you more than you know!