Gratitude elevates your mood, improves your social outlook, and is associated with better overall health. Truly, a grateful heart is a healthy heart!
Gratitude, the act of being appreciative for the goodness in our lives, begins in our hearts and finds rest in the well–being of another person. Your acts of kindness have a ripple effect—the recipient is more likely to perpetuate good will. Expressing gratitude allows you to become more attuned to sources outside of yourself and form closer bonds with people and nature.
Cultivating an attitude of thankfulness ignites hope in the world.
Throughout the week be mindful of the things in your life for which you are grateful. As thoughts come to mind jot them down and collect these notes in a bowl. At the end of the week find a quiet time to reflect on each thought, perhaps read them aloud, and light a votive candle to honor each thought and moment. Candlelight signals and evokes remembrance. The gentle flicker of light creates a peaceful atmosphere and allows your thoughts to turn inward.
Cut strips of paper suitable for making a paper chain and on each link write down the names of people and things that you are thankful for. This is a perfect project for children and it can be made as simple, or elaborate, as you wish. Put your little ones' cognitive and motor skills to work and teach them to be mindful of the goodness in their lives.
Another way to practice gratitude is to keep a journal. I believe in carving out quiet time during the day to be reflective—even if it’s just a few minutes. Set a tone of thankfulness each morning by listing three things you are grateful for and then be mindful of them throughout the day. You’ll be surprised to find that this simple act can help to ease anxiety and maintain a calm center for your day.
May you all have a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving.