You are probably not surprised to hear that Americans consume more calories on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year but we also know the holidays are about more than just overeating our family’s favorite recipes. This time of year inspires us to pause, reflect on the abundance in our lives and practice gratitude. In both the teachings of yoga and Ayurveda cultivating gratitude and holding our attention on positive thoughts are essential to creating wellbeing. Modern science is catching up to what yogis have known for thousands of years and studies have shown that having a daily gratitude practice has long-term, lasting health benefits. Gratitude is associated with reported better physical health, improved sleep, more happiness and increased optimism. Studies have also found practicing gratitude results in greater focus, enthusiasm and achievement.
So, what’s the healthiest thing you can pass around the Thanksgiving table? You got it–gratitude.
Three Simple Ways to Practice More Gratitude
Get a Journal – Set aside sometime each day to write down at least three things you are grateful for. I do this every morning after my mediation but you could do it at anytime. Just be consistent, create space for it and it will become a habit.
Get a Jar – I read about creating a gratitude jar last year around New Years. A local family had started a tradition of each day writing a gratitude on a piece of paper and placing it in a jar. Then on New Year’s Day the following year they would read some of them out loud. What a sweet reminder of all the blessing they received that year.
Spread Gratitude – Share your gratitude with the people in your tribe. Let the people closest to you know you appreciate them. Notice the power that a positive connection can offer.
As you begin to cultivate a gratitude practice, notice what shifts in your life. Are you happier, sleeping better, kinder to those you meet? Share you findings.
Wishing You Vibrant Living