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The Season for Gratitude

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. Yeah, the food is definitely a big plus but I also love the idea of being thankful. Thankfulness or gratitude has the ability to transform your life.

Modern life is stressful and busy, busy, busy. We all work hard for ourselves and for our families. In our quest to achieve, we take for granted our successes and perhaps even those we love. Mantras like “winner takes all”, “I’ve worked hard and I deserve what I have” express common beliefs in our society. People used to give thanks on a daily basis for having food on their tables. As food became more easily obtained we stopped saying thank you at the dinner table. Lately, many people are finding it harder to put food on the table and perhaps because of this we are having a resurgence of gratitude. Google gratitude and you’ll see how much it’s being talked about.

During the holiday season we run around like nuts trying to plan menus, buy and prepare food, buy gifts, not to mention clean our houses. There seems to be an endless list of things to do. While running around we are stressed and encounter other stressed people. Makes for some interesting interactions doesn’t it? Often it’s all we can do to get home in one piece and with our peace of mind intact.

Practicing gratitude can calm you and keep you in touch with why you are running around. By having a regular practice of gratitude you can keep your equilibrium and enjoy the holiday more. Not only will you enjoy the holiday season but if you can keep up the practice after the holidays your life will be transformed. Studies have shown that having gratitude is essential to a happy and healthy life. Grateful people are not only happier but experience less stress and depression and are more satisfied with their life and their relationships.

Tips on how to practice gratitude:

  • Every night before you go to bed have a journal ready to write down everything you were thankful for earlier.
  • Wake up in the morning and think quickly about 3 things you are grateful for.
  1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  3. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.This is one breath.
  6. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
  7. Afterwards think of something you are thankful for.

Give some or all of these tips a try. If you make the effort to regularly practice gratitude, I promise your life will be transformed and you WILL be happier.