Thanksgiving is the largest secular holiday in the U.S. and a time for gathering, cooking and giving thanks. I can’t wait to feel the heat in my kitchen and spend time with family and friends. In my e-book, Mind-Blowing Happiness™ Guide to Self-Care I delved into the affirmation, “Wake up with gratitude. Nourish your mind, body and spirit. Work with passion. Rest completely. Repeat daily.” While Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for annual reflection, gratitude should be practiced daily to reap the most reward. It immediately shifts your mental state from negative to positive. For example, it’s impossible to be grateful and angry simultaneously.
With a view toward my holiday roast, sausage rolls, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, vegan nog and all the other delicious dishes that make the holiday memorable, here are my top ten gratitude practices for a more flavorful life year-round. I hope you find a few that can easily slide into your everyday life.
- Start your day with a gratitude affirmation. Give thanks as soon as you wake up in the morning. Not everyone wakes up to a new day.
- Take a gratitude shower. Wash each part of your body and express thanks for its functionality. You might thank your face for smiling, your eyes for seeing, your arms for hugging, your belly for digesting your food, and your feet for carrying your entire body.
- Take mid-day gratitude moments. As you go through your day and partake in enjoyable activities like food, meaningful work or recreation, pause and be grateful.
- Add gratitude into your workouts. When you do your favorite exercises, thank your muscles, lungs, heart, legs and all your working body parts that function to support you.
- Find the soft side of rough patches. When you encounter difficult moments during the day, pause to express gratitude for the opportunity to grow compassion, patience, resilience or whatever the difficulty cultivates in you. Trying times are an opportunity for personal growth.
- Appreciate nature. Take a moment during the day to give thanks for the things in our natural world that often go unnoticed: the sun rising, birds chirping, moonlight glowing, rain drizzling and so many other things that enrich and nourish us.
- Keep a gratitude journal. Write down what you’re thankful for on a daily or weekly basis. Include family, friends, service workers, teachers, employers and anyone else that comes to mind. Let your journal inspire you to express your gratitude to others through your spoken words, gracious emails, texts, gifts, snail-mail notes and acts of kindness.
- Try a mindful self-massage. Massage each part of your body with your favorite oil and express gratitude for your ability to feel and enjoy the sensation of your skin, muscles and nerve endings.
- Drift off to sleep with a gratitude scan. When you get into your bed at night scan your body from head to toe, relax that area and give thanks for your body. Give thanks for a healthy mind and a grateful heart. If you have trouble falling asleep, focus your attention on your feet. Rotate your ankles, wiggle your toes and thank your feet for all the hard work of the day.
- Appreciate your dream world. If you dream during the night, give thanks for the wisdom that filters through your dreams. Take time to notice and interpret it. Keep paper at the side of your bed to record important dreams before you forget them.
Living in gratitude in each moment will change the way you feel about your life. I hope I’ve inspired you to appreciate each day that you are gifted with in this precious life. Happy Thanksgiving from my home to yours!
I wish you passion, purpose and the realization of your fullest potential!
P.S. Today’s photo is from Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash. If you want to add more gratitude to your vision for the new year, I encourage you to join my “Dream. Create. Do.” 3-Step Vision Boarding Workshop on Sunday, December 5th. Click the link below for details and to sign-up.