A Short Guide to Cultivating an Attitude for Gratitude
It’s that time of year again …. The season of getting together with family and friends, the season of gift giving – and the season of gift receiving. Yes, it’s the holiday season, and for some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year …. : For some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year … For others, it’s not so great. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, there’s one thing that can really elevate your state – and its gratitude.
Practicing gratitude can help you feel more connected to life – and to yourself. It gives you perspective on your own personal progress, and you’re not done writing your personal story yet. Here are some ways to practice gratitude this holiday season.
Make your gratitude list.
Sure, we’re grateful for what we have, but sometimes we need reminders. Writing a list is a simple and impactful way to appreciate and acknowledge all that you have.
– Ask yourself, what have I ever been grateful for? What have I been thankful for? Who am I grateful to? What am I thankful for today?
– Consider: who or what has made my current experience and situation possible?
From there, write down the list. This visualization is meant to help put things into perspective and is a reflective meditation. Using this method of mindfulness will hopefully help us to go beyond what is on the surface and connect with the deeper experience of your life.
Use your list to keep you grounded in gratitude.
– How do you find the positive in a “bad” situation from the negative? For example, you’re running late for work – that’s stressful, yes. But instead of focusing on the stress of an unfortunate situation, choose to look for the good in it. Find gratitude for the job you have and the traffic you had to get there. When you flip the switch, you may find perspective on what’s really important – and maybe that can lead to ease.
– Celebrate the good things. Find joy in your victories, happiness in your privileges, and your energy for them. Celebrate yourself. But be careful not to focus your attention disproportionately on the good and the bad. Let the good always win.
– Don’t judge yourself. Instead of looking at your situation with judgment, use the situation to give you motivation.
Share the love! Tell someone how much you appreciate them. Write them a text, send them an email, or tell them in person. Share the joy and let them know how much they mean to you. After writing the list, this is a very simple practice that can be done in just two little words.” Thank you.”
If you’re passing on gratitude to those around you, you need to include yourself as well. Give yourself some self-love with these yoga poses that embody gratitude.
The Humble Warrior.
Humbly bow your head in surrender – let go of anything that no longer serves you.
– From an arch pose, bend your front knee and stack it over your ankle and point your toes forward.
– Straighten your back leg and seal your heel to the ground. Your toes should be pointing forward, but slightly to the right.
– Interlace your fingers behind your back and pull your arms down and up to allow your chest to expand.
– Hinge from your hips and bring your shoulders to the inside of your front knees.
– Let your head drop down heavily and breathe into this position. Repeat on the other side.
Place your hands at the base of your heart and get down on the floor, remembering all the things you have to be thankful for.
– Get into a squat position, opening your knees wider than your torso, heels pointing in and toes pointing out.
– Place your hands in the center of your heart in prayer and bring your elbows to the inside of your knees – press your palms together with your Elbows help widen your thighs.
– Keeping your chest lifted, slowly lift your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
– Hold this position and breathe.
Feel gratitude for yourself. Use this moment to just breathe and open your heart.
– Lie down on your back. Allow the soles of your feet to touch and open your knees like a butterfly.
– Place one hand on your heart and the other on your belly.
– Breathe in here.