Carolyn Frost is an owner and teacher at Balance Yoga in Larchmont. Try a week of unlimited yoga and Pilates for $30!
September is a month of new beginnings. A new season. Children back in school, and for those of the Jewish faith, a new year.
One way to celebrate these treasures is by learning to appreciate the many gifts we experience in our everyday lives.
The concept of gratitude has a strong link to good mental health and life satisfaction. In fact, research confirms that expressing gratitude can have dramatic and long-lasting benefits in a person’s life. Gratitude practices have been shown to enhance well-being in a variety of ways including helping people cope with stress, boosting self-esteem, reducing the risk of depression and anxiety, and facilitating goal attainment.
There are many things in our lives, both large and small, that we might feel grateful for, simple everyday pleasures, acts of kindness, personal strengths or people in our lives. A simple practice known as Three Good Things, where you reflect and write down three things for which you feel thankful each day, is an easy and incredibly effective way to bring more gratitude into your life. An ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ can easily be done anywhere with limited time investment!
At night before bed, simply reflect on your day and write down three things for which you feel grateful. Take a moment to really savor these gifts and think about their value. It really is that simple!
- Grab a friend, family member or co-worker and get started. You are more likely to stick to it if you have someone to hold you accountable.
- Involve the whole family. Chat with your spouse about your three things while getting ready for bed. Talk with your kids – older children and teens can have their own journal to record their thoughts, younger ones can say one or two things they feel grateful for each night at tuck in. Go around the table at dinner. You are modeling how important it is to first notice and then feel true appreciation for all the wonderful things we have in our lives.
- Set a reminder in your phone to help you remember.
- Get a gratitude journal and keep it on your bedside table. It serves as a visual reminder to incorporate this practice into your daily life.
- It’s ok to forget a night or two. You can always go back and enter some thoughts from the day before, or just skip it and move on. No guilt here – this is all about feeling good.
- Some days might be more difficult than others to find things to feel grateful for. This is NORMAL! If this happens, try going back to the basics – breath in your body, legs to walk on, a roof over your head, or a family who loves you.
- Give yourself a moment, take a mindful breath, to reflect and truly feel GOOD about what to write down.
- Be open to what comes – you might surprise yourself!
Want more information? Check out the books below for details on this life-changing practice:
- The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life
- The Little Book of Gratitude: Create a life of happiness and well-being by giving thanks
Carolyn Frost is an owner and teacher at Balance Yoga in Larchmont, where gratitude is incorporated into yoga classes. The Balance Yoga community is getting ready to take on a gratitude challenge to enhance well-being. For more information, please click on the logo: or email email@example.com.