Cultivate Grace and Give Thanks
Gratitude is a word that is tossed around a lot during the holiday season. In this year, and this season, and this month, with all of the “extra” challenges, we may be struggling to feel grateful. And yet, cultivating a gratitude practice can help us in every aspect of our lives.
Gratitude helps you focus on what you have, rather than what you lack. It turns your attention to what is working, rather than to all that is not as you wish. In this way, it can help to calm an anxious and weary mind, and help you find more ease in your life. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.
Benefits of Gratitude
There are very real benefits that go along with a grateful attitude. Gratitude improves your physical and psychological health. It fosters positive relationships, bolsters self-esteem, and even helps you sleep better.
Using Mindfulness to increase Gratitude
It is tempting to join in the chorus of doom and gloom these days. We’re in the midst of a pandemic. Our country is divided and angry. We see political attack ads every time we turn on the TV (Election season life-hack—Don’t turn on the TV!). This is a time of extreme uncertainty, and we feel ungrounded and anxious.
You already know from your mindful practices, that you can cultivate perspective at any time.Taking a Yoga class, meditating, or journaling can help you be present and experience your ground of being—this constant inner resource you can count on. From there you can flip the script, and find gratitude in your life, in both your triumphs and your troubles.
Top 10 List for Practicing Gratitude
If you are still stumped on how to practice gratitude these days, here is a top 10 list for you:
- Keep a gratitude journal, listing all the things, large and small, for which you are thankful.
- Write a thank you note to someone who has shown you kindness.
- When you make a mistake, change your perspective by focusing on the lessons you learn.
- Notice the beauty in nature.
- Take a Yoga class and appreciate the way your body and breath move in harmony.
- Cook meals with love and gratitude for the people you will feed.
- Be thankful when you learn something new.
- Volunteer, and help those who are struggling.
- Take a class or a workshop with me! You’ll find lots of ideas in my newsletter!
Try a few of these ideas and let me know how it goes!
And, this November, vote for gratitude!!
Be Well. ~Lisa