How To Keep Gratitude Going After Thanksgiving
It’s easy to remember to self-reflect and practice gratitude on a day that literally has the word “thanks” in it.
Personally, I’m thankful for my health, my family, my partner, my friends, my creativity, all the people who supported Namaste in Nature this year, hot showers, sunny days, unlimited clean drinking water, healthy food, yoga, pollinators like bees and butterflies, warm beds, fluffy cats and the freedom to learn, like and love whatever I want.
So how do we keep this momentum going throughout those other 364 days of the year? Below are a few ideas and inspiration to keep on giving thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives that we tend to take for granted.
Namaste & Have A Great Day!
Guided Gratitude Meditation
People who practice gratitude meditation regularly have lower blood pressure, better immunity, and a generally improved mood.
If you’d like to try a guided mediation, check out these videos below:
6 Minute Beginner Gratitude Meditation with Deepak Chopra
10 Minute Beginner Gratitude Meditation with Relax for a While
30 Minute Guided Gratitude & Appreciation Insights & Meditation with David Manning
Focuses on things you are thankful for, helps increase sleep quality, decrease symptoms of sickness, and increase happiness and joy.
Journaling tips for success:
Robert Emmons professor at University of California, Davis is a leading expert on science of gratitude shares these tips:
Don’t just go through the motions
Go for depth over breadth - Going into detail about a short list of things is more effective than a large list of general things
Be personal - Focusing on people whom you are grateful for has a bigger impact than thankfulness for things
Try subtraction, not just addition - Reflect on what your life would be like without certain blessings, rather than just adding up all the good things
Savor surprises - Record events that were unexpected
Don’t overdo it - Once or twice a week is better than every day, like much of life, it’s quality over quantity
“Emmons told me that when people start keeping a gratitude journal, he recommends that they see each item they list in their journal as a gift—in fact, he suggests that they “make the conscious effort to associate it with the word ‘gift.’”
Gratitude Prompts -- great way to kickstart a stalled journaling practice
I’m grateful for three things I hear:
I’m grateful for three things I see:
I’m grateful for three things I smell:
I’m grateful for three things I touch/feel:
I’m grateful for these three things I taste:
I’m grateful for these three blue things:
I’m grateful for these three animals/birds:
I’m grateful for these three friends:
I’m grateful for these three teachers:
I’m grateful for these three family members:
I’m grateful for these three things in my home:
I’m grateful for these three people who hired me:
Step 1: Find a jar or box.
Step 2: Decorate the jar with your decorating implements. You can tie a ribbon around the jar’s neck, put stickers on the sides, use clear glue and glitter to make it sparkle, paint it, or do whatever else you can think of to make it a bright and happy sight!
Step 3: This is the final most important step, which will be repeated every day. Think of at least three things throughout your day that you are grateful for. It can be something as benign as a coffee at your favorite coffee shop, or as grand as the love of your significant other or dear friend. Do this every day, write down what you are grateful for on little slips of paper (bonus points for colored paper!), and fill the jar.
Over time, you will find that you have a jar full of a myriad of reasons to be thankful for what you have and enjoy the life you are living. If you are ever feeling especially down and need a quick pick-me-up, take a few notes out of the jar to remind yourself of what is good in your life.
Outdoor Gratitude Walk
Walking is therapeutic in itself. It has many health benefits such as increased endorphins that decrease stress, increased heart health, and circulation in the body, decreased lethargy, and decreases in blood pressure. Couple this healthy activity with a grateful state of mind and you are bound to nurture a positive mind and body (Rickman 2013).
The goal of the gratitude walk is to observe the things you see around you as you walk. Take it all in. Be aware of nature, the colors of the trees, the sounds the birds make, and the smell of the plants. Notice how your feet feel when you step onto the ground. Hopefully, it will be easy to express gratitude for all the things that you are experiencing in the present moment.
Gratitude Phone Apps
Allows the user to create a daily gratitude entry with space for the one thing you are most grateful for. You can also share your gratitude on social networks, edit and add filters to your gratitude entries, and add frames to photos.
The entries are organized by a calendar and can be used to track progress on goals as well as count your blessings.
Research indicates that one of the most effective ways that people can become happier is to note down the good things that happen every day. This shifts our focus onto what has gone right, rather than leaving us to ruminate about problems.
This app not only allows you to recall and record the things you are grateful for each day, it also rewards you with points for journaling. You can build up a gratitude garden with these points, a pretty space that can bring you joy by reminding you of what is good in your life. You can also receive gratitude cards, which contain suggestions for further actions that can increase gratitude and happiness.
This app is free, and you can download it for iOS or Android.
“One joy scatters a hundred griefs.” - Chinese Proverb
“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” - Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden
“At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” – Albert Schweitzer
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Anonymous
“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Gratitude will shift you to a higher frequency, and you will attract much better things.” – Rhonda Byrne
“Gratitude is the sweetest thing in a seekers life – in all human life. If there is gratitude in your heart, then there will be tremendous sweetness in your eyes.” Sri Chinmoy
“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” – Mary Davis
“There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.” — Ralph H. Blum
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ― Melody Beattie
“Being thankful is not always experienced as a natural state of existence, we must work at it, akin to a type of strength training for the heart.” – Larissa Gomez
“Today I choose to live with gratitude for the love that fills my heart, the peace that rests within my spirit, and the voice of hope that says all things are possible.” – Anonymous
“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
– Oprah Winfrey
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy
“Gratitude for the present moment and the fullness of life now is the true prosperity.” – Eckhart Tolle
“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” – Brian Tracy
“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” – Doris Day
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” – Tony Robbins
“Gratitude is an antidote to negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, hostility, worry, and irritation. It is savoring; it is not taking things for granted; it is present-oriented.” – Sonja Lyubomirsky
“When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.” ― G.K. Chesterton