As we approach what may be an unconventional Thanksgiving holiday, we wanted to take a moment to discuss gratitude. Studies have shown that people who live with a sense of gratitude tend to live happier lives, form healthier relationships, and maintain better mental and physical health overall. Showing gratitude can promote better sleep, enhance self-esteem, decrease aches and pains, and even aid in overcoming trauma. Here are a few of our favorite ways to express gratitude:
✍️ Write it down – Keep a journal, send a “Thank you” note, or just take a moment to list a few things you feel grateful for each week.
🎨Share your talents – Art and Music can bring such joy to others. If you are an artist, consider creating something for a friend or family member. Creativity and Gratitude are both great tools for our health and wellbeing. Look for ways to combine these acts.
🎉 Share their Joy – Celebrate in the accomplishments and joys of your friends and family as if they are your own.
🗣Provide encouragement – Sometimes the world can be so critical. Take some time and check in with your friends and family and be a voice of encouragement. Our words can be so powerful.
🧘🏽Meditate – Meditation can provide a wonderful space to express gratitude. If interested, check out this Supported Chest Opener for Gratitude, adapted from www.yogajournal.com.
What you’ll need: Floor space or yoga mat, a thickly folded blanket or foam roller or yoga block, a small pillow, and three-five minutes.
Get into position: Lie on your back with a thickly rolled up blanket, foam roller, or yoga block placed vertically to your spine and directly under the shoulder blades. Place a small pillow under your head, for support. Your head should be at about chest height. You can keep your knees bent with your feet flat on the floor or straighten your legs. Bring your arms away from the sides of your body, palms facing up, to make a “T”.
Pay attention to your breath: Allow your head, neck, and collar bones to relax, as your upper back arches and your chest opens. Breathe deeply through your diaphragm, and feel your ribs expand. Allow the breath to fill your chest. Exhale. As you relax into this chest-opening pose, you can quiet your mind and focus on your breath, or, think about the things, people and relationships in your life for which you feel gratitude.
We get it, this year has been rough, and expressing gratitude isn’t always easy, but trust us, it’s worth it. We hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday.
Stay well. ❤️