Living in Gratitude


We hear this word thrown around frequently, especially when Thanksgiving sneaks up on us here in the U.S.A. And yet, it’s easy to get swept up in the holidays with family and friends, and forget to stop and actually be grateful and/or present with our feelings and activities.

So this holiday season before getting swept up in the busyness of everything, meditate on this...

Pick something unique to be grateful for. Yes, many of us are thankful for our family and friends, but what about the joy you felt when you breathed in the fresh air on your walk this morning? Or that your dog learned to sit AND stay! Think of something specific as it can be more powerful and memorable.

Check in with yourself throughout the day and/or weekend. How are you feeling? Are you stressed because the food is taking longer than you had planned to prepare? Or maybe you are waiting to eat all day and are a bit too hungry. Eat a snack. Remember to give yourself a break. Even time spent with awesome people we love can be energetically draining. Take five minutes to freedance your emotions or take some deep breaths in the quietness of your room.

Be mindful and present. Are you having a good conversation with your aunt? Recognize it. Look at her, see her and acknowledge what she is saying. Are you cooking? Be present with the process of preparing your favorite recipe. Are you drinking a glass of wine to unwind? Notice the delicious taste on your tongue. Multi-tasking is challenging and sometimes we need to admit that we can only properly do one thing at one time.

And what if this year it is a struggle to feel grateful?

New York Times writer, Arthur C. Brooks says,
“Building the best life does not require fealty to feelings in the name of authenticity, but rather rebelling against negative impulses and acting right even when we don’t feel like it. In a nutshell, acting grateful can actually make you grateful.”

We all know what it feels like to be around someone who smiles and laughs a lot; it makes us want to smile. By focusing on the positive you will feel better and in turn influence others to do the same.

So remember, check in with yourself, be present, and choose gratitude.

Inspired by articles from the New York Times and Mindful.

By: Katie Janovec, Team Nia