I interrupt our normally scheduled goofy gifs to bring you one of my all-time favorite images! This photo was taken at my wedding last year and brings me immense joy and sometimes tears of laughter. In case you are wondering, YES, I did slide on the floor in my wedding dress with a glow in the dark headband, while dear friends and family formed a human pyramid.
If I had to make a gratitude list, this photo (or really what it represents) would be at the top of my list. I'm certain that for many of us, supportive friends, close family, and memorable events elicit similar feelings of thankfulness.
Since it's holiday season, the word "gratitude" is coming up quite often. It's a hot, feel-good topic, but I wonder why it's not something that we focus on all year round. While we're encouraged to show our gratitude for people this time of year, such as buying special gifts, volunteering our time, or donating to charities, we do it not only because it's the holiday season but also because it makes us feel good.
Gratitude = feeling good. And when you feel good, you do good things - in the world, for your friends, for your family, at work, at home, and for yourself. Or as we say around here, when you FEEL awesome, you can BE awesome.
But what about on days when things aren't going our way? Having a daily gratitude practice is kryptonite to stress. Like any other practice, regularity and consistency will bring about the benefits. Today is a great day to start!
Here are three of my favorite ways to get the gratitude party going:
Some of my best friends and I have a loose text thread where we exchange what we're grateful for. Every time I get one of these texts, I feel inspired, pumped, and uplifted. And it feels just as amazing to be the one to share the gratitude.
Try this with a friend but don't overthink it! There are no right or wrong responses when it comes to gratitude. For example, sometimes I'm grateful for my bed, while another day I might be thankful for loving family. This afternoon, I was grateful for dark chocolate.
See how amazing you feel after sending a gratitude text and getting one in return.
MAKE A LIST
In my free guide 5 Easy Ways To Be Healthy Now, I talk about starting your day with a gratitude list. Whether you make time for this in the morning, take two minutes at lunch, or write in a journal at night, this is another enriching exercise that will leave you feeling positive and grounded.
Start by simply doing a brain dump of everything you're grateful for that day. Again, don't edit yourself and just write down whatever flows.
This exercise is especially helpful when feeling stressed or angry. While it might not be a natural inclination when feeling crummy, you'll be surprised how it lightens up challenging energy. Give it a try.
Has someone done something kind for you lately? Whether it was a physical gift, an act of generosity, or simply being a good friend, let that person know!
While it's great to say thank you in person, through a text, or via email, sending or receiving a handwritten note takes the cake. You'll make someone feel special and I bet you'll feel pretty amazing while writing the note too.
I recently sent a little stack of notes and the writing process left me feeling relaxed and even a little mushy.
Whether you pick one or all of these options, remember to be nice to yourself! If you have a day where you're salty and pissed and feeling the opposite of grateful, go easy on yourself. Remember, your practice is always there waiting for you. Pick up a pen, text a friend, or even express gratitude to yourself for being human.
I'm grateful to all of you for supporting this weekly blog! Your email responses and blog comments totally make my day. As always, holler at me with any questions <3