Did anything good happen to you this year? As 2015 comes to a close, it’s a perfect time to think back on the year and express gratitude. Some people do this in the form of gift giving, or a card exchange, others as a feast around a table. Being grateful is just as important as going to the gym and staying fit.
“Studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy.” – Psychology Today
Gratitude shifts your mindset onto the positive aspects of your life. As a result, your stress is lower and feelings of happiness come to your awareness.
It’s easy to get caught up on the things we don’t have in life. On the problems. We’re wired for survival and constant progression, which requires this tendency toward problem-solving.
There are two ways you can bring more gratitude into your mind right now.
#1 Meditate Gratitude
Close your eyes and breathe while you think about what you’re grateful for. Set a timer for five minutes and don’t stop until it beeps. This is one way to meditate that allows you to keep thinking (for those of you who have trouble with silence). If it’s still too quiet, you can repeat “I am grateful for…” in your mind or aloud to see what comes to you.
#2 Journal Gratitude
As you reflect on 2015, take out a sheet of paper and write down the following:
- What am I grateful for today?
- What am I grateful for this year?
- What health and fitness goals did I achieve this year?
- Who in my life am I grateful for helping me achieve those goals?
- What health and fitness goals do I have for 2016?
- Who can help you with those goals?
Write down what you’re grateful for on slips of paper and hang them on your refrigerator or at your desk. You can also hang a blank sheet of paper in your home or office and add things you’re grateful for to it as you think of them. Encourage others in your space to write on the paper also.
If you want to go one step further, contemplate how you can express your gratitude to those that you thought about in the meditation and write about in the activity above. Make a list of the people and think about what they would most appreciate. Everyone is different when it comes to receiving gratitude and love.
Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages illustrates this. Gift-Giving, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service and Physical Touch are different ways you can show appreciation to people. Giving thought to their love language will make the gesture even more meaningful.
Enjoy the holidays and thank you for reading. We are grateful for you.