Last Thursday was Thanksgiving here in the US, which is one of our all-time favorite celebrations – and not just because of the Black Friday sales! There’s something really powerful in giving thanks and when you combine that with sharing food and spending time with those you love… well, it doesn’t get much better than that if you ask us.
But, giving thanks shouldn’t just be a once a year thing. Bringing more appreciation to your every day can make a huge impact on your mental, emotional and even physical wellbeing.
It’s good for your health.
Making a conscious effort to acknowledge our blessings and feel appreciation can have powerful outcomes for all aspects of our well-being. It can lead to greater self-acceptance, personal growth and stronger feelings of purpose and meaning. And, studies have even linked gratitude with a range of physical health benefits, like increased energy, reduced stress, and improved sleep.
Make it a habit.
Like most things in life, focusing on gratitude can become an unconscious habit really quickly – you just need to make the effort initially to put in place some mindful appreciation practices.
We love appreciation journaling before bed – it sets you up for a relaxed, calm night’s sleep and helps ensure a more positive start to your next day. Try keeping a journal beside your bed and, before turning out the light, write a list of five things every day that you are grateful for. It could be as simple as “my lunch was delicious today”. Framing your attention onto what was great about each and every day is an effective way to make sure you’re not taking those little things for granted.
There are also plenty of opportunities throughout the day to say ‘thank you’. Create a little more awareness on those around you by registering when someone has done something for you, and make sure your ‘thank you’ is sincere and meaningful (make eye contact!). Whether it’s the girl who holds the elevator door for you or your coffee guy, expressing thanks will make them feel great and also help keep your perspective focused on appreciation.