I’m sure you’ve felt the shift occur inside of you at the times in your life where you paused to give thanks. Not only are there the incredible peace inducing effects that we can immediately sense, but there is plenty of science that shows holding and expressing gratitude is linked to less physical stress and anxiety.
Mental and emotional stress are taxing on the adrenal glands and not only can this stress wreak havoc on you physically, but it can snowball, thereby giving way to even more unnecessary worry and physical health problems. Try to set aside some time each day to pause and to recognize the areas in your life that you are grateful for, and you can be healthier both mentally and physically.
Here are a few ideas to help with designing your very own personal gratitude awareness practice:
Say It out Loud
Using our words has a profound impact on shifting our awareness. Sound is vibration, and so it helps to move energy and help to harmonize our thoughts and actions while bringing our thoughts to a higher consciousness. Each day, try to say “I’m grateful for you” to meaningful and helpful objects, events and people in your life.
Write a Thank You Letter
Is there someone in your life right now that you need to thank for anything, but you keep forgetting about it or letting it slide? In this era of electronics and instant gratification, try to take the time to send them a handwritten note or letter.. The time that you take to express your feelings by writing them down means more lasting rewards than using electronic media.
Practice “One Person a Day” Gratefulness
Take a different friend, family member, acquaintance, coworker or service provider each day of the year. Tell them that you are grateful for their presence in your life. This works a couple of ways. It lets people know that you care about them and appreciate them, and it also forces you to expand your circle of influence. I have a friend who takes the time each day to go through her friends lists on social media, and as she works her way down she sends each one a personal message of beauty and appreciation. Sometimes, if she can’t think of anything at all to say (perhaps because she doesn’t know them very well), then she will remove them from her lists.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
In your Gratitude Journal, make a note of three to five things (or more!) that you are grateful for each day. Then take the time to read them out loud to yourself, so that these points remain flowing in your awareness and are allowed to shift your consciousness. There are plenty of beautiful gratitude journals available out there for purchase these days, but you can always make your own and add a personal touch with keepsakes and magazine clippings.
Remind Your Most Important People of How Much You Appreciate Them
Go to the nearest mirror. Do you see that person staring back at you? That is the person you should be most appreciative of. You obviously love your friends and family, but you need to express self-love first before you can form the deepest relationships with others. Frequently look yourself in the eyes and express gratitude for who you are and what you have given yourself. Honor your journey!
Give Some Love & Gratitude to Your Food
In our culture, it is not difficult to take so much for granted. Many people in the world do not know if they are going to eat every day, while most of us have several choices as far as what food we are going to put into our mouth, how much we eat, and when we eat. Whether you have an abundance of food or eat sparingly, express gratitude for the food you put into your body. One of my favorite ways is to give a simple thanks to all of the elements as well – to the water used in preparation of my food, the fire used to cook it, the earth for providing it, and the air for the continued flow of health and inspiration.
Clear Out, Donate, Give Away
Many of us have so much clothing that we don’t know what to do with – we are simply not prepared to part with some of it. I have recently tried the method that Marie Kondo outlines in her bestselling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. In this process, you go through each item you have and hold it to your heart. If it does not immediately spark joy, then it is time to let it go. This can quickly make you realize how much you really have, and how much each of your possessions really does – or does not – mean to you.
Make A Pot of Gratitude Tea!
At my daughter’s school, each Fall they take a walk through the woods to gather fresh items that can be used to make Gratitude Tea. When she brought a bag of tea home with her, we tried it and I absolutely fell in love with it! I fell in love with it so much that we went out the next day to gather some more, and we continue to do this each year. Here are some ideas for what to gather to make your very own pot of Gratitude Tea: