Thanksgiving is a holiday to celebrate the abundance and love in our lives. Yes, good food and a day off work are also things to be celebrated, but let this day remind us to be grateful.
Being grateful for what you have actually brings a feeling of satisfaction to your life and shortens your list of things you want or think you need. It also makes you feel more forgiving and generous and have a better overall outlook on life.
Scientifically speaking, feelings of love, compassion and appreciation send dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone, through your body activating your brain’s pleasure centers. Not only does dopamine give you a strong sense of well-being and happiness, but it also opens up creativity and increases your ability to learn and remember things. Studies have shown that the more grateful a person is, the happier they are.
Being grateful means that you are affirming the goodness in your life and by affirming something, you are actually attracting more of that energy your way. So why wouldn’t you want to practice gratitude?
Like anything though, gratitude comes with practice. When you’re frustrated and feel like complaining, it’s not easy to shift into gratitude mode. But, if you can force yourself to find something good in those situations eventually it will be easier. Even if you can’t think of a single thing, start with saying “I am grateful for… “ and allow the power of gratitude to work in you. The universe will shift your thoughts and feelings to align you with happiness and gratefulness.
Finding small pieces of joy in your daily routine will shift your perspective of your whole day, so allow yourself to find moments to be grateful. It can be anything: grateful for checking something off your to-do list, grateful for a nice cup of coffee in the morning or grateful for the extra 10 minutes of alone time you got in the car because traffic was worse than usual.
Here are 6 things you can do to cultivate gratitude:
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