Way to Feel & Show Gratitude

Way to Feel & Show Gratitude

The festive season is a time we’re encouraged to feel and show gratitude. In the USA, thanksgiving celebrates the blessings of the year, but we can use any holiday to be grateful and express our gratitude to others. Christmas can bring up a lot of emotions; from happiness and joy, to loneliness and resentment; if we can focus on gratitude at this time of year though, we can make the holidays a brighter and merrier time for ourselves and others.

What is gratitude?

The feeling of gratitude has been studied extensively. Across the world, religious leaders and philosophers have described it as the ‘social glue’ that holds communities together and forges the backbone of society. Gratitude itself can feel different to all of us, but researchers tend to define it as ‘the appreciation of what is valuable and meaningful to oneself’ and that it represents a general state of thankfulness.

Further scientific studies show that the more we practice feeling gratitude, the more neural pathways in the brain linked to gratitude can be easily accessed. In other words; the more you feel grateful, the easier it’ll become! Gratitude is good for us because it can help reduce depression, lessen anxiety, relieve stress, support heart health and improve sleep, amongst many other benefits, so let’s explore ways to feel and show gratitude to get the benefits.

How To Show Gratitude

Give a thoughtful gift

Any gift given at Christmas is a kind gesture, but as the saying goes; ‘it’s the thought the counts’. Whether it’s large or small, try to think of what the person you’re gifting to would really appreciate, as this lets them know how grateful you are for them. For the crystal enthusiast in your life, treat them to the Parigotte Healing Crystals Set, with a crystal for each of the 7 chakras. For the friend who is trying to start healthy habits, gift them the Once Upon A Tuesday Weekly Habit Tracker Pad, or for the loved one focusing on self-development right now, show them you care with Inner Workout: Strengthening self-care practices for healing body, soul and mind.

Write A Gratitude Letter

Sometimes it can be difficult to express how we feel with spoken words. Writing a gratitude letter however, can be a thoughtful and effective way to show someone how grateful you are, whilst allowing you to take time to think about what you’d like to say. To help make your writing creative and meaningful, use Rupi Kaur’s Gratitude Writing Prompts, with a specially curated deck of 70 writing prompts that invoke curiosity and a connection with the self. Dig out the School of Life Emotional Barometer card deck too, which can help you define 20 moods that may be hard to pinpoint and explain. Most importantly, write your gratitude letter from the heart; what does your loved one need to hear?

Offer An Act Of Kindness

Kindness is perhaps one of the best ways we can show our gratitude to others. Amidst the busy-ness of everyday life, it can be easy to forget how important it is to show gratitude to each other. Petty arguments or poor communication can lead to resentment and emotional distancing, which is why practicing small acts of kindness for each other is so important. Does a friend need help with household chores? Could you lend a hand shopping for a loved one? Could you simply show gratitude by spending time with a lonely family member? Think of the most simple ways you can offer kindness to show your gratitude. The School of Life: A More Loving World is an empowering guide to creating a kinder and more loving world and can give you inspiration with offering acts of kindness.

How To Feel Gratitude

So now you know how to show gratitude to others, how can you feel it for yourself?

Remember that feeling gratitude is something we can actually get better at, the more we practice it. Try to cultivate a gratitude practice you can thread through your week and weave into your daily routine.

Write a Gratitude List

Yes, it may sound cliché, but writing a daily gratitude list really can help us feel grateful and make a huge difference to everyday life. Writing a gratitude list can help lift your mood, reduce anxiety and stress, promote feelings of contentment, enhance a sense of connection with the world around you, and help you get through challenging moments in life. There are so many ways to incorporate a gratitude list into daily life and make a habit of it; Sunrise Gratitude: 35 Morning Meditations For Joyful Days All Year Long helps you start every day with a short meditation to cultivate gratitude. The Gratitude: One Line A Day Three Year Memory Book is a quick and simple way to give yourself a dose of gratitude too, and will last for three years, whilst the Once Upon A Tuesday Daily Gratitude Pad is a place to list 3 things you are grateful for today – plus space to note down something kind someone did for you, and you did for others.

Show Your Body Some Gratitude

How many times have you looked in the mirror and shamed your body? Or compared yourself to someone else’s appearance? Every time we do this, we lower our own body confidence and self-esteem, leading to yet more negativity. Building body confidence is such a vital way to improve your relationship with yourself, as well as cultivating empathy with others too. Use the Body Gratitude card deck to help kickstart your journey to acceptance and gratitude. With beautiful illustrations, inspiring quotes and transformative affirmations, Body Gratitude is designed to help us heal and nurture our relationship with our bodies.

Each card reminds us that we don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love. It’s time to show your body gratitude for everything it empowers you to do, every day, and celebrate the beautiful scars, wisdom lines and countless quirks that make it unique.

Practice Visualising What You’re Grateful For

Visualisation is a powerful tool for enhancing our emotions, and the same goes for the feeling of gratitude. As well as writing about what we’re grateful for, deeply thinking about people and places we’re grateful for can enhance the experience. The more we think about what we’re grateful for, the more the brain strengthens connections known as ‘neural pathways’, so that each subsequent time we try to feel gratitude, it becomes easier. Set yourself up with the Yogamatters Organic Cotton Zafu Meditation Cushion and Hemp & Organic Cotton Meditation Blanket, and visualise what you’re truly grateful for. Whilst visualising, try to feel the emotion; does it feel warm and tingly? Light and spacious? Tap into the feeling of gratitude within your body and make this a regular practice to experience the continued benefits of less anxiety and stress, more contentment, and a greater connection to the world around you.

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