5 Steps to Practice Gratitude around the Holidays
By Two Fit Moms
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, but the Thanksgiving holiday reminds us to come back to center, to focus on all that is good, and to count our many blessings. This year, we encourage you to expand your day of gratitude into a daily practice. While this may sound like another task to add to your to-do list during a busy season, we believe it’s well worth the effort.
Gratitude stems from the act of practicing mindfulness, which is a natural extension of maintaining a regular yoga practice. If you do nothing else, step onto your mat each day for a few minutes, tune out the noise of the world and immerse yourself in your practice. When you are fully aware of the body that you have, the movement of the air, and the sounds and smells that bombard your senses, you have no choice but to feel thankful for life.
Here are five additional ways to help you clear your mind, energize your body and focus on all that you are thankful for and all that is gracious and good.
Set a daily intention. Carve out a few minutes each day to channel positive thoughts. It can be first thing in the morning or during a lunch break or at night before you go to sleep. It will not only set the tone for the day – or the day ahead – but it will help set an agenda for it too.
Enjoy nature. Take your yoga practice outside, go for a walk, a hike or a bike ride. Take in the beauty of the earth, breathe in the fresh air. We oftentimes take nature for granted, but when you start to look at it closely and really examine your surrounding, you realize how beautiful the earth is, and how much we have to be thankful for.
Start a gratitude journal. Sometimes we are so busy, we miss the very obvious blessings around us. Maybe it’s the half hour nap that your kids let you sneak in, or your husband cleaning up the dinner dishes, or your neighbor pulling in your garbage cans. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with the negative that we neglect to see the positive. Start writing down these glimmers throughout the day whether in a journal or in the notes section of your phone.
Give. Give to those less fortunate. Donate your old clothes, food or money (if your budget allows), or donate your time by working in a soup kitchen. Every little bit counts, and you can make a difference!
Share. Share your talent and knowledge with someone. If you are a cook, share your recipes. If you are a yoga teacher, guide someone through a flow. If you are a musician, offer someone a lesson. Spreading your gifts is so important, and those on the receiving end will be truly grateful.
We hope you integrate at least one of these suggestions into your life, into your daily routine. We bet it makes a real difference in how you live your life and how you embrace gratitude.
Two Fit Moms is a joint collaboration between Laura Kasperzak and Masumi Goldman, two mothers with the common goal of staying healthy and fit. Together, Laura and Masumi share their love of yoga with others by offering group classes and workshops. Learn more about Two Fit Moms here.