Nov 25th, 2022
Get Ya Some Gratitude
I’ve spent the last few days asking folks what they are grateful for, and the resounding answer is quite simple – the basics - family, friends, food to eat, a job they enjoy, and even the birds visiting the feeder each morning. Could it be that simple?
Yes! It can. Taking notice of the good things and the good people in your life makes a big difference. Telling others about the good things and the good people in your life makes a huge difference. Thinking, writing, or speaking about gratitude can actually rewire your brain!
When you practice gratitude, benefits abound - positive emotions, stronger relationships, empathy for others, less illness, and less pain. When we experience and express gratitude, several pathways in the brain are activated. During this process, your body produces more serotonin and dopamine, regulates stress hormones, and helps with cognitive restructuring which makes dealing with difficult circumstances easier. The more we practice gratitude, the easier and more automatic it becomes.
It's one of those things like flossing your teeth, we know we should do it on the daily, but somehow, we forget or set it aside. I can't help you with your flossing, but I can share a few ways to practice gratitude in daily life. Do remember, nobody's perfect and these are just suggestions.
- Dedicate your yoga practice, a daily walk, your moring coffee routine to a person or people in your life - someone who is struggling, someone you need to forgive, someone you admire or appreciate.
- When someone you know or love is ill, sit and think about only them and their virtues. A while back, someone I know went in for major surgery. During the procedure, I closed my eyes for ten minutes and thought about health and healing. In those moments, a warm glow flowed through me.
- Write a thank you note just because. I once got a note from a friend that read, "Just want to share a note of gratitude with you! I am so thankful for your friendship..." I will never forget that note.
- Shut your eyes and watch the moments, places, people, or things you feel grateful for hover past you like clouds in the sky. Look at them, acknowledge, and then send your gratitude outward with a long exhale.
So now, I can't help but wonder if receiving the beneftis of gratitude is selfish? No, not really. If I feel better, I do better. If I emote and express gratitude, others will do the same. So get back to basics and get ya self some gratitude this holiday season.