I know what you’re thinking…wow groundbreaking, another blog post on gratitude around Thanksgiving time. How original 🙄lol. However, I really do believe that a regular practice of being thankful for what we have in ours lives can benefit us in many ways. I’m only mentioning it this week because gratitude is on the forefront of everyone’s mind. Yet, do you express gratitude every single day? Or even a few times a week? Sometimes when this theme isn’t the topic of conversation we can begin to forget about all the amazing things we have going for us right now.
Expressing gratitude can look different for everyone. It can be something we write out in our journal everyday during our Morning Routine. It can also be a time we speak to a higher power when we are praying, thanking this presence for what they have given us. We can also focus on 1 thing we are grateful for as we are meditating. When we can put all of our focus and attention into these small treasures, our mindset and health begin to change.
Having a gratitude practice set in place daily, significantly alters what we focus on throughout our day. Ever notice your mind start to wander and think about what you’re going to say as you’re listening to someone speak? This means you’re not being present. You are too focused on what to say next because you don’t trust yourself to just be. You must meticulously plan out your next move. Being thankful for your current life and who you currently are can shift us away from wanting and yearning to be someone else and trying to be perfect.
As a recovering Perfectionist, this was very difficult for me. To just be with my thoughts and be thankful for the person standing in front of me, it helped me not to focus so much on myself, instead I would focus on the other person. Daily gratitude helps us maintain as sense of living in the moment and accepting the current situation for what it is. It also allows us to be completely open to whatever may come into our day. We learn to be better listeners when we can live in the present moment and with that, have better relationships.
Ever notice your friend looking at their phone when you’re speaking? How does that make you feel? Like they don’t value you? Like they aren’t thankful to be with you? When you are grateful for those relationships in your life, you tend to cherish them more and want to be fully present with them. Encourage that friend on their phone to be with you and not focus so much on what they’re missing out on.
Feeling grateful all the time can also affect our mood. I know when I’ve started my day with a good journaling sesh of writing out all the things I am grateful for, I feel so much better about my day. I feel like I’m supported and an overall sense of happiness. I also find myself treating people differently. I smile at people more, I am more kind, and I give people my full attention when I’m with them. My energy levels are higher as well. I find that when I start my day off with honoring the good in my life the bad things that happen don’t seem as bad anymore.
I find that I feel a lot less anxious when I give thanks. My stress levels are high when I feel like I’m falling behind in life, my business, my education, or my finances. If I’m accepting the now and where I am currently that feeling of inadequcy falls away.
Do you start your day with scrolling your Instagram feed or Facebook home page? How does that make you feel? I know for me, it feels like I’m behind, and like I’m not good enough already and I haven’t even left my bed yet! This compare and despair issue we have going on with our culture right now has got to be addressed. One way that we can change our mindset about comparison is gratitude.
The more we look around us at the things that we possess, the communities that support us, and the people who love us, the less we can start to seep back into the pattern of envy and jealousy. Also, a NEWS FLASH for you: Social Media is NOT real life. I know many people that have accounts with fabulous photos, but when you speak to them in person, they are not happy or they feel like they are not enough. Where you are right now is enough. What you have right now is enough. Make goals, make a plan, but honor the journey and the process that it takes.
Being that it’s Thanksgiving week, I know you will already be thinking about everything in your life that you appreciate. However, when this week is said and done and the New Year Resolutions start to kick in, just remember that a daily practice of gratitude can keep you grounded and not yearning for a better life. Your life is beautiful just the way it is. Honor it everyday and give thanks to where it’s due.
Comment below with how you express gratitude….is through mediation, a mantra, journaling, or prayer? Would love to hear from you!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 🦃🍁