Gratitude

Gratitude

Cultivating gratitude has continually been shown in scientific studies to make us happier and slower to anger. As Thanksgiving passes (well, in the United States) and our studio ends the gratitude challenge – a challenge where practicers are invited to write down one thing they’re grateful for and hang it in the studio after each class – gratefulness can seem to slip away. Don’t let your thankful mindset disappear because it’s not right in front of you each day. Below are a few ways to cultivate gratitude each day, regardless of the time of year or the challenge at the moment.

Start a gratitude journal – Every day write down 3 things that you are grateful for. Don’t feel pressure to make each thing monumental. Maybe you are thankful for that cup of coffee you needed a little more than normal this morning or you are thankful you had the resources to book a flight to see a friend who lives far away. Whatever it may be that day, write it down. No need to have a fancy notebook; anything where you can keep each day in the same place will work.

Set an intention of gratitude in your yoga practice – This will really work with any workout. Think of how different your physical activity could be if you thought “I am so thankful for all my body can do” as opposed “I have to do this to stay {fit, skinny, muscular, etc.}”

Tell someone – “Having gratitude but not expressing it is like wrapping a present but not giving it.” Try telling one person each day why you are grateful for them. It can be as simple as telling the gas station attendant that you appreciate his cheery presence or telling a coworker you are grateful they could get the work done when you had to push up a deadline.

Start your own gratitude installation – Head to the store and grab paper, string and clips. You can now create your own gratitude installation in your home. Invite friends and family to add to your installation.

Take a mindful walk – Leave the headphones inside and head out around your neighborhood. Take this time to really look at your surroundings and appreciate how amazing they are. Is there still a red leaf among the brown leaves? Is the morning incredibly quiet allowing time for your thoughts?

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