Practicing Gratitude Over the Holidays
November is National Gratitude Month and with the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, many of us may be thinking about gratitude and what we are all thankful for this year. If you are wondering how you can incorporate more gratitude in your life, here are six tips on how you can be more grateful every day.
Why It’s Important to Practice Gratitude
As a powerful form of appreciation of what is in the here and now, gratitude can help us feel happier, get grounded in the moment and makes us stronger emotionally among other benefits. Practicing gratitude for the present moment can also add some much-needed balance to our lives. If you are wondering how you can start a gratitude practice, here are six ideas.
#1 Create an Atmosphere of Gratitude
At Thanksgiving, many families and friends share what they are grateful for, but who says you only have to do that on Thanksgiving Day? Instead, incorporate this gratitude ritual every day of the year no matter what the holiday. If you share a family meal every night or even once a week, go around the table and share what you are grateful for that day or that week.
#2 Express Gratitude for Yourself Through Nutrition
An easy and delicious way to show gratitude is to express gratitude for yourself through your everyday food choices. By being mindful of what you put into your body, you are showing yourself gratitude by fueling your body with nutritious food options. Some more mindful options include foods that are American Humane Certified, dairy-free, gluten-free, humanely raised and cage free, low sugar, Non-GMO Certified and organic. Selecting the highest quality foods and supplements is one easy way to show gratitude for yourself, your health and fuel your body with beneficial nutrients.
#3 Go for a Gratitude Walk
Going for a walk is a great way to get outside to breathe in some fresh air and enjoy daily movement. As you go for a walk, focus on each step you take and with each step, think of something you are grateful for. It can be something small like having the health to go on a walk or it can be something big like getting to see all of your family and friends for the upcoming holiday season. Whether you walk in nature, explore a nearby community trail or take a casual stroll around your local neighborhood, going for a gratitude walk can be done almost anywhere.
#4 Live Mindfully
Living mindfully may sound simple, but can be challenging at times, especially if you always find yourself thinking about what’s next. Instead, focus on the present moment and take notice of what you are grateful for in that very moment. Maybe it’s having a home to live in, a warm meal to eat or maybe it’s even having a job to go to every morning. Don’t take the smallest things in life for granted and show them some gratitude.
Many times, when we think of what we are grateful for, we don’t always voice it, especially when it comes to people. An incredibly thoughtful way to start a gratitude practice is by voicing it. Instead of thinking how nice it is that your parents always call you once a week to check in, take the time to call them and express to them how grateful you are to have them in your life. Text a friend who is always there for you or leave a note for your kids, roommate or significant and stick it somewhere they will find it as a nice little surprise. After all, everyone likes to feel appreciated so take an extra minute and express your gratitude towards the ones you love most in life.
#6 Start Small
Gratitude is a habit that develops strength and grows over time and with practice, so start small. Grab a journal or notebook and make a list of one thing you are grateful for every day. If you don’t already have an established journal practice, start one or begin listing your points of appreciation mentally. Each week add an additional note of what you are grateful for so with each week you increase your list by one.
Although the month of November and the Thanksgiving holiday is all about gratitude, find a way to incorporate the practice of gratitude practice every day of the year and notice the differences you experience in your life.
Show us how you practice gratitude in your life by tagging us @LesserEvilSnacks.