Gratitude Gems are a compilation of ways to be grateful and also things that we can do to stay feeling thankful for all that we have. It is the holiday season. Here we are again with so much to be thankful for. It is ok if you are missing a loved one or wishing you could be in another place. Even if that is the case, we still ALL have things to be grateful for. Do a body scan. Are you basically healthy? Can you walk? Can you talk? Are you able to perform your activities of daily living without the help of another person? Gratitude is a choice. We get to choose our attitude and our mood for each day. Which one will you choose?
For instance, I will not be spending this Christmas with any of my four children. Do I miss them? Heck yes. I miss them terribly. However, I had an amazing weekend with all of my kids a few weeks ago in Boston. It was not officially “Christmas” that weekend, however we got to see each other, spend time, exchange gifts. Most importantly. we got to spend time with each other laughing, playing games, breaking bread together and enjoying our time. It was snowing too! I love the snow and miss that now that I live more south.
Instead of choosing to be sad and bummed out that I am not going to spend actual Christmas with them like I used to, I am choosing to be grateful for the time we had together. Go here if you would like to make my kids favorite Christmas cookies.
Gratitude Gems: We can change our brains by positive thinking
Feeling blessed and grateful for what we have changes the neuro-pathways in our brains. Scientists have proven that neuroplasticity is real. Simply pausing during our day to ‘take 5’ minutes can change your attitude and the messages your brain is receiving. Give your brain something to smile about. Take a few mintues to stop and smell the roses, breathe a few slow, deep breaths. Relax your shoulders, stretch your head side to side and look around at your surroundings. What do you see that is pretty near you? Can you see anything in nature from where you are? Get up and go to a window. Look at the beautiful sky, the sun shining, the snow on the trees. Notice something today that you normally pass by. Doing these things will help your brain feel happier. In turn your body responds and activates the ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain. Go here to learn more about Holistic Medicine Stuff.
Another way to experience more gratitude on a daily basis is to keep a gratitude journal next to your bed. Right before you go to sleep, jot down (at least) 3 things that you are grateful for that day. At first this might seem tough. After a while, you will realize that your brain is beginning to notice things and people throughout your day. You will see when the birds are flying overhead. You may take notice when the sun is starting to set and the sky looks like a gorgeous painting.
Gratitude Gems will keep you appreciating life’s beauty. And gratitude is a year long thing, not only around the holidays. Let’s keep up the positive, thankful attitude every day! My motto is to “Spread a little love and kindness wherever I go”. Perhaps you can do the same?
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