Updated January 25th, 2021.
Gratitude is such a beautiful and powerful emotion and one that is discussed a lot at Yoga Mamas. We talk about the countless things we are grateful for, but how often do we actively practice gratitude on a daily basis? As we begin a new year we felt it was the perfect time to discuss ways in which we can all embrace and practice gratitude everyday. Here are 7 easy ways you can practice gratitude.
1. Write a thoughtful letter
Whether it's your mom, your parter, or a neighbour, sitting down and writing out how thankful you are for them and what they do for you feels good to everyone, your appreciation for that person deepens and that person feels valued and cherished-win/win!
2. Appreciate You
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha. Spend five minutes with your hand on your heart, appreciating you and all of your hard work.
Practising gratitude can consistently and effectively make you happier. Slowing down to count your blessings can make you feel more optimistic and help you create and maintain a positive energy throughout the day. Guided gratitude meditation is an easy way to calm the mind, connect to breath, and focus on the various things and people you're thankful for in life. Enjoy a free 9 Minute guided meditation here.
4. Keep a gratitude journal.
'Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in everyday.' This could not be more true. Though some days are harder than others, there is always always always something to be grateful for and by keeping a journal and jotting down a few things you are grateful for that day can only help you cultivate more of those experiences. If you're feeling stuck think about the people you encountered that day, the roof over your head or the beautiful city you live in.
5. Do something you enjoy.
Take an online yoga class, get a massage or simply take some time for yourself. Relish and delight in what it means to take care and love yourself. The more we love and appreciate ourselves the more we love and appreciate others and that is something that everyone can benefit from.
6. Share Gratitude at the Dinner Table
Sharing one “gratitude” from the day is an easy way to soften any stresses from the day and encourages your children to think about their daily experiences differently. Taking a moment to share small shining moments is beautiful way to connect as a family as you share a meal.
7. Be present
One of the best ways to practice gratitude is to stay in the moment and experience it for all it is. Feel the air in your lungs, the warmth of your clothes and the company you are keeping. Stay present and appreciate all that is in that one moment.
Gratitude Games For Kids
It's never to early to start practicing gratitude and giving thanks. Here are a few easy ways to teach and practice gratitude with your littles.
A Gratitude Journal.
You can have them pick out a pretty notebook next time you'e out shopping, or simply staple paper together and have them colour / decorate the cover page. Encourage them to draw or write down a few things they are grateful for each day. This can be done at the breakfast table, after school, or at bed time.
The ABCs of Gratitude.
Sit with your little and ask them to list things they are grateful for, beginning with “A” and working all the way through the alphabet to "Z".Don’t be surprised if this exercise gets a little silly – it’s bound to get silly at some point, so just embrace it and enjoy the laughter with your child! BONUS: Start the exercise by having your child sitting comfortably, closing their eyes and taking three big belly breaths. This is an easy to introduce them to meditation.
Bedtime Thank Yous.
This can be incorporated into the gratitude journal or practiced as a standalone exercise. Help your child to think of happy things that happened to them during their day. They can simply say these things aloud, write them down in their journal, draw a picture of them, or simply think of them. This exercise can ensure that your child drifts off to sleep with a heart full of love and gratitude.
For more mindfulness exercises for children visit blissfulkids.com.
How do you practice gratitude? If you have an idea that we missed, we would love to hear from you. Comment below with your thoughts. We could not be more grateful for you, beautiful Mama!