November brings with it cooler weather, leaves of gold and the feeling of thanks in the air. It’s the perfect time to begin a practice of gratitude. You Know Neen is hosting the 2nd Annual 30 Days of Gratitude blog series, a place where the experience of gratitude will be explored and shared. I, along with several other contributors will be sharing our thoughts on all things gratitude.
The most simple definition of gratitude is a feeling of appreciation or thanks. In past years, we’ve been saturated with books and blogs and articles about how choosing gratitude makes us happier. We have learned that gratitude reduces our stress level, increases sleep and allows us to be more empathetic.
So why don’t we all practice gratitude regularly? Simply put, life throws us a lot of curve balls. And, it’s not always easy to be grateful when life’s circumstances are challenging at best.
Just like physical exercise, for gratitude to make a difference in our lives, we need to practice it regularly. By making gratitude a routine, or a practice year round and not only in November, we will reap the benefits.
When I started writing in a gratitude journal a few years ago, it took a week for it to become a daily event. I set aside a few minutes every night to write a few things for which I was grateful. Some days my lists were long, some days they were short. Some days I couldn’t even think of anything to be grateful about because life just kicked me to the curb. BUT, I kept on – especially on those days. If my brain wouldn’t allow me to find gratitude, I relied on the most basic, and yet highly taken for granted pieces of my life: my pillow, my bed, my breath.
With as little as a few minutes before bed every night, I began to feel better every day and found pause in my thoughts before I reacted. This brought with it more conscious responses and better decision making.
Sure enough, when we begin to practice gratitude for the most common of things- the water we drink, a warm blanket, our children’s laughter, the sun shining – the common becomes extraordinary and our list grows. And the list becomes deeper and more poignant some days. And we begin to think more mindfully and find thanks in the present moment and so on and so on.
If you are looking to find more peace in your life or are trying to cultivate more mindfulness, a gratitude journal is a great way to begin.
Join me as I share my gratitude journal findings for the next 30 days. I will share ways to cultivate gratitude and provide some great resources for you to enjoy. Read what other authors, teachers, business owners and parents have to say about their experiences with gratitude. Read along and join us. Let’s inspire one another. Share what you are grateful for right here in the comments below.
I will be so grateful to read your words!
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