Ways to Practice Gratitude in 2020
It is quickly approaching…a new year, 2020, a new decade, the closing of the 2010”s… I find it almost comical really, I feel like it was only yesterday that I brought Declan home for the first time and began 2010 with a bang! As we walk forward into this new year, I’d like to encourage you to think about all of the blessings in your life. The simple things that get you out of bed in the morning. Even if you are a ‘glass half empty’ kind of person, I’m sure there are one or two things in your life that you can look back on and think, “yes that is worth celebrating.”
Being thankful for all of the good in our lives can seem difficult in the beginning but, when consciously remind ourselves to do it, it is really quite easy. The reality is that wee are often so busy ‘doing’ that we forget to pause, reflect and express gratitude for the wonders in our lives. An activity that would truly enrich our whole selves; mind, body and soul.
So, what is gratitude?
Simply put, gratitude is an emotion expressing appreciation and being thankful for what one has or has experienced. Gratitude is usually spontaneously generated from within at the moment we experience something magical and profound. It happens naturally when we appreciate the actions of another person, are present in a joyful situation or experience a moment that makes us feel happy and thankful.
While gratitude is a spontaneous feeling, research has proven that gratitude is valuable to our general well-being when we consciously make an effort to “count one’s blessings”.
Gratitude starts with noticing the goodness in one’s life.
I’m not talking about the material things you have or own. Think about the people in your life that bring you joy simply because they are positive, happy and encouraging. Think of how they make you feel. Are you grateful that they are part of your life?
The practice of gratitude has so many benefits, and here are some ways that you can practice, even when busy:
Keep a journal and write down a few positive things that happens each day. I like to end my day writing down 3 things that I am grateful for… (ex. I am grateful that my son, was happy to have me pick him up from the bus stop after school today).
A weekly review of Gratitude: “three good things” that captured the greatness of the week. Not just what was great, identify the ‘why’. By doing this, you may discover other things in your life that bring you incredible joy.
Imagine what your life will be like when you are present and practicing gratitude daily. how will it impact your happiness on a scale of 1-10, how will that model positively influence the people in your family? Your friends? The people you work with?
Send a text message to a friend that recently made you laugh and thank them for being your friend.
Once a week, go around the dinner table and have everyone share something that happened during the week that they are grateful for.
Focusing on presence and practicing gratitude takes time to get used to, but it is a practice that I have found brings me great peace and happiness. It has allowed me to see the world differently, more colourfully, and in a way that sparks so much more joy in the everyday. It leads my family to look at the positive experiences they have in life and in times of sadness it reminds us that there is a lot of good in the world, which always brings me incredible comfort.
So, as the new year and decade approach, what are you feeling grateful for? I have a challenge to each of you, my wellness community: Don’t just make a mental list. Write it down. Every day for the next 3 months, select 2 of the bullets above and make it a daily, weekly, monthly practice. Open your list each month and see what has changed, what hasn’t. Celebrate all of the goodness in your life.
Do you already practice gratitude? Share how it has impacted your life.
I am grateful for each of you, for the joy, challenge, colour and greatness you bring to my life as a Nutritionist and as a Wellness coach. I cannot wait to see what 2020 holds for my future. Thank you so much for being a part of my 2020 vision.
Yours in health and wellness,