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In my family, we have a lovely annual tradition of sharing what we are grateful for as we sit down for our Thanksgiving meal. It creates warm moments of gratitude among family. As Thanksgiving draws near, it got me thinking. Why do we limit this to one day a year? This focus on gratitude would be even better when observed as a daily practice!
The Power of Living With Gratitude
Aside from a few moments of happiness, you might be wondering why you should start a daily gratitude practice. There are actually a surprising number of benefits!
- Focusing on gratitude forces you into a positive state of mind, and this typically extends through more than that one moment.
- Focusing on what you are grateful for can really help put things into perspective. It will help you zero in on what really matters. And those things that are, in actuality, just simple, mild irritations we can let go of more easily and not allow them to ruin our day.
- Taking time to think about what we are grateful for can start a virtual chain reaction of goodness. When you feel happy, you’re more likely to take part in acts of kindness and generosity, spreading it to those around you.
- The law of attraction states that what we focus on, we get more of. It’s a very real possibility that you will notice a positive shift in your life when adopting an attitude of gratitude.
- Gratitude actually changes your brain and rewires it towards positive thinking. Pretty amazing!
- Living a life of gratitude can lead to self-discovery. You have all you need in you to be happy, successful and accepted.
Instituting a Daily Gratitude Habit
There are a variety of ways to create a daily gratitude practice. From the very involved, to the very simple, there’s sure to be a way for you to incorporate an attitude of gratitude into your life! Here are a few suggestions.
- Create a gratitude journal. The most traditional way of incorporating gratitude into your life is starting a gratitude journal. Keep it by your bed, and start or end each day with three things you are grateful for.
- Go the techie route. Nowadays, it’s often easier to do everything on our smartphone and keep it all in one place. There are a variety of apps, like Grateful, that serve as digital gratitude journals. They will even offer you reminders to make your daily entry at times you set.
- Recreate the Thanksgiving habit. You could turn this into a family affair and go around the dinner table each evening. Allow everyone to tell something they are grateful for, and share this positive practice with your loved ones. Family members’ answers often lead to wonderful dinnertime discussions! Knowing they will need an answer each night can also help everyone look for and take note of everything that brings them gratitude throughout the day.
- Include it in your daily practice. If you have a daily prayer or meditation practice, remember to include a short list of what you’re thankful for each day.
- Make it more active. If journaling isn’t for you, take your gratitude out into the world. Make it a habit to thank someone everyday, and tell them why you are grateful to have them in your life.
During this season of thankfulness, take time to look around and soak in your blessings. Through thankfulness comes peace and love. May you be surround by plentiful amounts of each today and every day.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and board certified Focused Awareness Meditation Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.