Kati’s Fit Kit
Gratitude is good for you! As I mentioned in my Fit Kit last week, the language we use with ourselves and others has a tremendous affect. The same is true for the things we think about and give our focus to. Specifically, cultivating an “attitude of gratitude” is an extremely powerful tool that has been shown to:
Promote feelings of positivity and well-being
Reduce stress and anxiety
Improve your relationships with others and the world around you
Help you handle challenging situations with more ease
Boost your immune system
Life will always be full of challenges, but if we spend our time focusing only on things that are going wrong or that we don’t like, we miss out on all those awesome benefits associated with gratitude! With Thanksgiving just a few days away, now is a great time to start up a practice of developing gratitude, or re-energize your current practice. Here are a few ways to work gratitude in to your everyday life:
Keep a journal – every night spend five or ten minutes writing down a few things that you are thankful for that day. Make a gratitude jar – write down at least one thing you are grateful for everyday on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. You can look at the papers if you are feeling low or need inspiration. Share gratitude with others – you can spend a couple of minutes at dinner each night sharing something you are thankful for with your family. Or reach out to a friend to let him/her know you are grateful for their friendship. Or post something on social media. Take a photo each day of something you are grateful for – you could make an album at the end of the year and have 365 pictures of gratitude!
You will get more out of your gratitude practice if you remember to be grateful not just for big things like a promotion at work, a big vacation, or a new car. Look for small things to appreciate everyday: a hug from a friend, a gorgeous sunset, a meal that came together perfectly, a story that made you laugh. Being as specific as you can will also make your practice more powerful. For example, instead of just being thankful for a roof over my head, a few days I took note of how grateful I am to be able to stand in my yard underneath an orange tree, enjoying sunny, warm weather in the middle of November!
Just like any practice, it probably won’t be perfect, and it may not always be easy. If you fall out of practice, just pick up again as soon as you can, and you will start to see the benefits almost immediately.
With gratitude, strength and love – best wishes to you and your loved ones for a truly Happy Thanksgiving!