Updated: Jan 2
As originally published in Vie Meditation
At the Thanksgiving dinner table family and friends gather to give thanks for loved ones, health, kindness, a warm meal, and/or the ability to be together. But, gratitude can happen in any setting, at any time, and it’s important for your wellbeing to find it in your life, regularly.
A range of studies show that more gratitude in your life can reduce stress, decrease the number of annoying ailments like colds, and increase overall energy, too. Some researchers say increasing positive thoughts leads to steadier emotions and better physical health, long term.
Yogis often convey gratitude with Anjali mudra a hand position frequently done at the beginning, throughout, and at the end of class. Often practiced throughout the day as a way to say “thank you” for a kind gesture, a compliment, or to express humility that something simple and wonderful has happened, Anjali mudra is often combined with the word “Namaste,” which means, “The light in me honors the light in you.” By expressing gratitude for each person we come across, we acknowledge the ability to learn something from everyone, because everyone has inherent goodness within.
Integral to the path of peace and becoming the best version of you, gratitude can be found off the mat and away from the holiday table with intentional, daily practices that will help thread more gratitude into your existence, in even the smallest things in life.
Practice: Noticing Beauty
On a stormy day, notice the pure sound of rain and imagine the nourishment that rain provides to farms, which grow our food and keep us nourished. Chained to your desk in the office? Take ten seconds to clear even a bit of your workspace and notice the energy shift into more serenity. With each challenging moment, there is beauty everywhere if you can practice noticing.
Practice: Kind and Positive Interaction
It’s completely normal to get together with a close friend, and download the stressors of the day. Flip the interaction: listen to your friend, acknowledge the feelings, and point out something positive within that discussion. Have her do the same for you. Put a time limit on the venting, and agree to talk about uplifting, inspiring topics for the rest of your time together.
Practice: Going Deeper
Record positive, grateful moments in a journal, but then take it further. Rather than just list what makes you feel grateful, describe why you feel that way. Understanding the reasons you feel gratitude might give you a better grasp of how you want to live your life moving forward.
Start with one practice then keep adding more gratitude practices to your routine for a life-changing outlook toward an even more beautiful life.