It’s all there in the name: Thanksgiving. It means to give thanks, to express gratitude for the blessings in your life. It’s a time to stop and focus on what you’re grateful for. And that’s important. So important, that it shouldn’t just be for the Thanksgiving holiday.
When you nourish yourself with gratitude on a regular basis, you become more full emotionally and spiritually. From that place, you can listen to your body more mindfully so that you can let go of using food in ways that don’t serve you.
Approaching your life with gratitude can also have a profound impact on your overall sense of well-being. Think about the last time you felt grateful. You probably experienced an increased sense of peace and happiness. Now imagine feeling that way every single day. How different would your life be if you focused on what you do have, instead of what you don’t? Brother David Steindl-Rast sums it up nicely:
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”
But it takes practice to feel gratitude when everything isn’t going the way you want it to. Here are 7 tips to help you develop your gratitude muscle:
- Every night before bed, write down all of the things you were grateful for that day in a journal.
- When you are feeling down, take out your journal and read it.
- Every morning when you wake up, write down 3 broader things you're grateful for in your life on a post-it note.
- Put the post-it notes in a place where you can look at them throughout the day.
- Call someone you love and express why you’re grateful to have him or her in your life.
- Close your eyes, get in touch with the feeling of gratitude and be present with it for 5 minutes.
- Even when something doesn't seem to go your way, be grateful for ways you might grow from that experience.
Why not make this Thanksgiving the day that you start working towards cultivating gratitude in your life every day?