We are in the season of “merry and bright” but for some of us who have lost loved ones, this time of year isn’t always merry and bright, and that is okay. Gratitude practices are well known for their ability to fight a case of the blues. When you’re feeling down or stressed out, it’s the best time to focus on the things in you’re life that your grateful for. Practicing gratitude can lift our spirits and improve our overall happiness levels. Here are 6 ways you can practice gratitude:
- Volunteer to Deliver Meals on Wheels with us! Diving into new, positive experiences is a surefire way to practice gratitude. Delivering meals is such a treat. The client interactions are pleasant, the drive through Liberty/Dayton is easy, and the meals leave a yummy smell in your vehicle. What’s not to like? Sign up here.
- Early Morning Musings As soon as you wake up in the morning and before you get out of bed, identify five things in your life that you’re grateful for. There is no better way to start the day than thinking about the people and things in your life that you appreciate.
- Handwritten Notes Try to make this an actual handwritten note that you can send in the mail or leave at someone’s desk or leave on someone’s car or doorstep. Make it warm and detailed. Tell them how they make you feel and how special they are to you. Not only will it be the highlight of their day, it’ll also make you feel good and bring you closer together.
- Gratitude Journal Keep a daily journal, and at the same time every day (morning or bedtime), write down three things in your life that you’re grateful for and why — this can be anything from family members, to a safe and warm home or something great you did that day.
- Mealtime Musings and Prayer Before you eat your next meal, consider recognizing how many steps the food had to travel before getting onto your plate. Give thanks to the farmers, the transportation, the grocery employees, or anyone who prepared the meal — picture each of these steps and people along the way, giving thanks for their contribution to your meal. This is a perfect group or family gratitude practice for Thanksgiving Day. Try doing one of these practices every day for 30 days straight and notice how it makes you feel!
Hannah Taylor, Executive Director