As we settle into the holiday season, it’s common to get caught up in the commercialism and consumerism that our media encourages. Unfortunately, that pulls our attention from the things that truly matter. By intentionally focusing on gratitude, we can bring ourselves back to our core values, and avoid overspending and disconnection.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ~ Melody Beattie
Gratitude helps us see things in a different way. It puts situations in perspective. When we can see the good as well as the bad, it becomes more difficult to complain, and gratitude becomes easier. Like any skill, gratitude requires practice. By focusing a little every day, you’ll begin to notice a pattern in the things you are grateful for – your spouse, your job, your children, your home, etc. – and your repeated attention increases your sense of gratitude.
A daily gratitude practice can consist of journaling, meditating, or even just being mindful of those blessed moments. Try asking yourself, “What am I truly grateful for today?” and then answering mindfully. Chances are, it has something to do with simple things that we usually take for granted – the kindness of a stranger slowing so you can turn left at a light, the smile of a child, the support of close friends when life is less than optimal.
So take some time today (and tomorrow, and the day after that) to reflect on the good things in your life. Over time, it will become easier, and you will be a happier person because of it.
Shannon is offering a gratitude practice that will run from Thanksgiving through the end of December.
CLICK HERE — to sign up for simple daily reminders to help you shift your focus this holiday season.