With the holidays around the corner, there may be an influx of messages from peers and brands encouraging us to express thankfulness or gratitude. You might be feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to feel grateful during this time of the year; especially if you’re feeling a little more lost or uninspired than usual. Although 2021 has been another year of great uncertainty, there are ways we can find the silver lining in how we’ve adjusted to a new normal.
These 4 tips and tricks will help you practice mindfulness and help you feel more grateful towards yourself and those around you:
Choose your language carefully
The way you think and speak to yourself can have a significant impact on your mental health and can explain why you are having difficulty feeling grateful. Sometimes it’s hard to find the positives when we are so consumed by the negative possibilities in a given situation. However, you can reframe the situation where you’re more focused on positives before the negatives. By paying particular attention to the language you use towards yourself, phrases like, “I wish I didn’t have to work,” can be reframed to, “I am thankful to have a job that allows me to grow.”
Affirmations, affirmations, affirmations
Affirmations are reminders to help you focus on the positivity around you. Affirmations are positive statements you can say to yourself (in your head or out loud), typically starting with “I am.” The daily repetition and awareness of affirmations will help realign your mindset on the positives and build your confidence. Affirmations are powerful because they are unique to you. Focus on what is special to you; for example, “I am grateful for my family.”
Write in a gratitude journal
If you’re not comfortable repeating your affirmations internally or out loud, another way to manifest them is by writing them down. Writing in a gratitude journal establishes a daily practice to remind yourself of the positive things around you. There is nothing too big or too small to include in a gratitude journal, as long as you are being truthful to yourself. You can start by writing down little things that made you smile, or you can answer some prompts such as: “What made me smile yesterday?”,“What am I looking forward to this week?” or “What was my biggest accomplishment this month?”
Spend more time with loved ones
It’s hard to focus on feeling grateful when you are sitting alone at home. Remember, the journey to expressing gratitude doesn’t have to be a solo one. Spending time with your friends and family is an excellent way for you to practice gratitude. You can ask them about the little things, like a favourite memory, or follow up on a recent experience they’ve had; this will make them feel loved and heard by you.
At the end of the day, feeling grateful and expressing gratitude in your everyday life is one more step towards improving your overall physical and mental health. Coming into your best self also means being able to show up for your family and friends.
Follow us @empowherto.org for even more mental health tips, and keep positive this winter!