With Thanksgiving on the horizon, many of us will gather around a table and muster up things that we’re grateful for just before we happily dig in. But this traditional form of giving thanks, although sweet, gives us little insight into the true transformative power of gratitude.
Research now shows that a regular gratitude practice can help regulate moods, build confidence by boosting new positive thinking neural pathways, and increase not only your mental health but your overall physical wellness.
Many of us struggling through post-election America find being grateful at this time an impossibility. But gratitude is not just a sappy word poured over a wound, it’s a powerful tool that directly contributes to feeling states of resilience, stability, and confidence.
As we master gratitude within ourselves, we can move forward collectively with the type of strength and clarity we have never needed more. Here are 3 powerful and simple ways you can transform your life and the world around you with the practice of gratitude.
Whether it’s through prayer or simply closing your eyes in silent reflection, taking time to connect to what’s good before you start your day is one of the most productive things you can do to begin to influence the course of your life. Beginnings are crucial. They set the tone for all the moments that follow. Begin your day from a place of gratitude and watch as your world changes.
Easy 5-Minute Gratitude Meditation:
- In a comfortable position, place your hands over you heart.
- With your eyes closed, take 5 deep breaths into the center of your chest as if you were breathing into your heart.
- Think about 3 different aspects of your life that you feel grateful for. It can be people, events, or personal qualities you posses that have meant the world to you.
- Keep breathing comfortably. Once you feel a sense of gratitude, ask yourself for guidance about the upcoming day. Just listen. You may be surprised by the wisdom you find there.
Gratitude needs to be practiced regularly in order to see its true effects. An easy way to do this is to make it part of your bedtime routine. In the same way that you brush your teeth every night, you can practice your attitude of gratitude.
Keep a little journal by your bed. Right before you go to sleep, write three things from that day that you are grateful for. If you have children, you can also do this as a part of their bedtime routine.
WRITE A GRATITUDE LETTER
Regardless of circumstance, we have all been graced with help or love in one form or another. Sometimes in the smallest ways, but it’s always been there. In our busy lives and in our constant need to improve, we fail to take stock of what has worked and who has helped.
Sit down and write a letter to a someone you greatly appreciate. Tell them why their presence in your life makes your life better. Tell them what’s great about who they are. Imagine receiving a letter like that and how good you would feel. Imagine a world where each individual felt that loved, that appreciated, that embraced. That’s a world worth living in. So join it! Create it! Write your gratitude letter today.