Thanksgiving often brings up this concept of reflecting on what we’re grateful for. But rather than just going around the table saying what you’re thankful for once a year, why not incorporate gratitude into your everyday life?
Studies actually show that a regular gratitude practice can boost happiness. By reminding yourself of what you appreciate about your life, and taking a moment to really feel, can make big shifts in the way you approach things. Here are a few ways to tune into your gratitude that you can practice any season of the year!
Record yourself on your phone listing all the things you’re grateful for. You can do this when you’re making your coffee in the morning or even making the bed. If you’re trying to manifest something or work towards a goal, try saying those things in the present tense, as if you’re already grateful for them being in your life — you can make magic happen by generating all this positivity.
If you’re like me, you love going for long walks but almost always do it with your earbuds in and a podcast playing in the background. While music and interesting conversations are great additions to our lives, try turning the noise off for just 10 minutes (you can even set a timer) while you’re walking in nature.
Take some deep belly breaths to tune into that gut wisdom and really listen to the natural sounds around you. Let yourself be in the moment as much as possible. Start thinking about what you’re grateful for either in your mind or you can make that voice memo. If you’re strapped for items to add to your list, just breathe and notice your environment.
Keep a gratitude journal. Try to list just a few things that you’re grateful for each time you do it. It doesn't need to be daily, but weekly is nice. Set aside 5 (phone-free!) minutes at the end of the day to jot some things down — they can be big, little, or somewhere in between — nothing is too silly or insignificant (your morning coffee, a particularly fizzy kombucha, or a good lunch totally count!).
Put it on the ‘gram
Use social media as your gratitude accountability, either by posting a photo daily or weekly of what you’re grateful for. If that feels too daunting, put together a big list each month and share at the end of each month. You’re generating positivity and encouraging others to do the same — which we can all use a little bit more of.
Meal or snack time
Use the act of mindful eating as a way to experience gratitude every day — not just at Thanksgiving. Not only is this better for our digestion, but it will actually make you feel more satisfied at the end of the meal (and will help your brain register fullness more clearly).
Sit down at a real table with your meal. Light a candle or play some relaxing music if that’s your vibe. Take a deep breath and look at your food. Think about what you like about this meal. Take a bite, fully taste and chew it. Set your fork down and take another breath before continuing to eat. Repeat.
The simple act of slowing down and focusing on the food in front of you is an act of appreciation.
Send a note or a text
If you’re thankful for someone — tell them! Don’t wait for a holiday, or for them to give you a gift to send a thank you note... do it because you’re thinking about them. Make it informal with a text or a little note left on the kitchen counter, or write a formal letter and send it via snail mail. We promise, you're bound to make someone's day a little bit brighter.
Gratitude can be an easy (and seriously beneficial) addition to our lives. It can help shift your mindset to finding the good in each day and the people around you. And the more regularly we practice it, the more rewards we’ll find!