The holiday season is such a wonderful time to remember everything that we are grateful for. Surrounded by the people we love who inspire and motivate us, who can make fun of us in the ways that are only okay if it’s done by them makes this time it’s easy to feel uplifted by the feeling of thankfulness. Nothing beats feeling that big smile on your face when you hug your friends and family that come home for the holidays.
When I sat down to write this post I was originally planning on sharing what I am thankful for this year but instead, I thought it would be better to talk about having a practice of gratitude in your everyday life and not just around the holidays. Taking the time to write down or meditate on what we are grateful for has proven to lead to greater happiness and resilience. By expressing your gratitude for all that you have improves your emotional, mental and social well-being.
Now I’m not the best about writing down a list of things that I am thankful for in my life but I do take a few moments out of each day to pause and appreciate what is around me. Mindfully thanking the universe for what all has been brought into my life. When I take these moments to slow down, pause and appreciate I feel a greater sense of connection to all that is around me.
Cultivating gratitude in your daily life is so powerful that psychologist have found it to strengthen your heart and immune system, decrease feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, and increase your self-esteem. So how can you begin to cultivate gratitude? Find a practice that works for you! If you enjoy journaling take a moment each day to write down one or two things you are grateful for or write down something that you are thankful for at the end of your day. It could be something that was unexpected or a moment during your day that made you feel loved. Not big on journaling? Close your eyes, take a breath, and think of something that you are grateful for and build off of that. The more you do these practices the more you strengthen and create new neural pathways to have a more grateful and positive outlook.