Did you know that to infuse gratitude into our daily lives is a form of self-care? According to Psychology Today, gratitude is the expression of appreciation for what one has. It is a recognition of value independent of monetary worth. Spontaneously coming from within, it is an affirmation of goodness and warmth. Practicing thankfulness can be a game-changer: it has far reaching effects from improving our mental health to uplighting our relationships with others.
It’s so easy to get lost in the whirlwind of the upcoming holiday season. I for one, just celebrated my son’s 9th birthday. Quickly followed by Halloween, and I am already feeling fatigued and overwhelmed. If you to peer into social media you would think that tomorrow is actually Christmas day. Everyone is already putting up Christmas trees, decking the halls, and drinking eggnog by the fire. All that is fine by the way, as we all should feel free to celebrate however or whenever we want. However, It’s easy to get caught up in the “what’s next” cycle of life. I just want you to know that you are allowed to just pause. Let’s pause and think about ways to be appreciative for the gifts that have already been bestowed upon us. Here are five simple was to infuse gratitude into our daily lives
The best gift can be giving someone your full attention. Carving out a space where we quiet all the noise around us. Fully zone in and listen to what someone is expressing to us. Offer understanding, empathy, and a safe space can be just the right antidote. Just listening can offer the right amount of care and respect to someone.
Pay it Forward
Another way to infuse gratitude into our daily lives is to pay it forward. There is an African-American proverb that states “Each One, Teach One”. This mantra originated in the United States during the height of slavery when Africans were denied an education. So, when someone learned how to read or write, it became their responsibility to teach others. I never knew about this proverb until I heard my husband use it. He is a physician and breathes life into these words. If you have a skill set or special knowledge pay it forward to a stranger. Take the time to teach someone something valuable that can enrich their life. Are you good a resume writing? or can tutor in math, or a good interior designer. Whatever it is, do not hesitate to share your gift with someone else.
“Each one, reach one. Each one teach one. Until all are taught.“marc victor hansen
Write a Kind Note
The written word is such a powerful tool. Taking the time to put thoughts to paper allows the receiver to revel in the words over and over long after the message has been written. It is a written record and a memorable keepsake. Moreover, writing a letter is such a long gone practice that receiving one in the mail is extra special.
Start A Gratitude Journal
Start your day by writing positive intentions for what’s ahead. Writing down a few thoughts about what your grateful for sets a good tone for the day. It is so easy to take things or even people for granted. Reminding ourselves of all the good we have in our lives leaves less room for negativity. Jot down things in your gratitude journal about celebrating the little wins in life, such as meeting a friend for lunch, a positive compliment from your colleague, or a needed hug from a loved one. Your journal is such a powerful tool because it will in time have loads of positive affirmations for you.
Volunteering your time can be such a rewarding experience. I have volunteered with an organization known as Reading Partners. With this community I donate my time weekly to spend with a child who is not on reading grade level. The satisfaction that I get when my mentee places on or above grade level just fills my heart with joy. The smile of her face when she can read a book aloud by herself is priceless. Volunteering has so many added benefits – sense of purpose, hone a new skills, or even reduce stress and anxiety.
Taking time to infuse gratitude into your life can greatly reduce the stress of the upcoming holiday season. Take it easy. Don’t feel compelled to compete. Remind yourself to enjoy the small moments and if things become overwhelming allow yourself the space to just let it go.