It is the week of Thanksgiving and it felt appropriate to highlight one of my favorite tools in my wellness toolbox. That is having a daily gratitude practice.

I learned about practicing gratitude early in my wellness journey when I was searching for tools and strategies to bring me closer to living a happier and healthier lifestyle.

In this search I learned that there are many benefits to practicing gratitude – from being more positive and compassionate, to having better sleep and feeling less stressed. I also learned that it is not possible to simultaneously hold gratitude and negativity. This principle fascinated me, so I decided to commit to developing a daily gratitude practice.

Heck, what did I have to lose?

After researching different ways to practice gratitude, one of the common principles shared was to look for things each day to be grateful for beyond the obvious – like food, shelter, and family. Then, it was suggested to write 3 – 5 things down each day in a notebook or journal. I sat down to start writing 3 – 5 things I was grateful for but truthfully, it did not come easily. So, I went on another search for learning how to find things to be grateful for. In that search, I discovered a few common tips that proved to be game changers. They are:
• Look for unexpected surprises.
• Focus more on people than things.
• Be detailed about what you are grateful for.
• Set a focused time to journal.
• Write as often as you can and when it works for you.

When we ground ourselves in gratitude, we are more likely to find the beauty in the everyday activities and happenings. And when we start our day by looking for things to be grateful for, we are more likely to pay forward compassion, kindness and in turn, feel less stressed and find more joy in the journey.

If practicing gratitude is new for you, I encourage you to give it a try and what better week than this week of Thanksgiving to begin. Then, repeat day after day until it becomes a routine.

With gratitude,