“Tis the season,” so they say. We are entering a time where everyone remembers to be grateful because it’s the holiday season. But why don’t we maintain this throughout the whole year?
What does it take to create and maintain a daily practice of gratitude? You can make this very simple. Start by thinking or jotting down three things you are thankful for at the end of each day. This will set the tone for waking up the next day as well. Some people like to repeat this practice in the morning as well too to keep the good feels rolling!
Some tips to help you make this practice a part of your daily routine:
- Make the commitment to yourself and your practice. Pick a certain time of day you can practice consistently.
- Start! It’s not about waiting for the right time, you just need to start and you can tweak as you go.
- Write down all things you are grateful for – big and small. Focus on all areas of your life. Expanding the areas your explore will allow you to carry your gratitude with you the next time you are there.
- Sit with these feelings and actually feel them. Meditate on it if you feel so inclined. This will bring a deeper awareness to your practice.
- Practice being present and find moments to be grateful throughout your day. This might seem hard at first, but it will continue to become easier the more you practice.
- Be patient and kind with yourself. No need to be hard on yourself as you are creating a new practice. Make edits where you need to make this process work for you.
So, why do all this work, whats the point? Gratitude can have many health benefits in addition to strengthening your relatioships. Studies have shown to boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and help you get better, more restful sleep.
Psychologically speaking, you can expect to experience greater positive emotions: joy, pleasure, and optimism; plus, feeling more alert and alive. Creating an environment of positive emotions will have you enjoying these more often.
Gratitude can also strengthen you social connections. You might find yourself having more compassion for others and feeling less isolated and lonely. You might find yourself helping other in need. Just as you do during the holiday season, when you’re reflecting on what you have to be thankful for.
Ever notice when you recently spoke of a certain car, then your driving around and you see several throughout the course of your day? When you start to see the good, it will become easier to recognize and seemingly appear in your life more often. And who doesn’t want more of that?
Let’s keep this attitude of gratitude going throughout the year, and not just during the holiday season when it’s expected. With so many benefits to your health and overall well-being, you would really be missing out if you chose not to!