Gratitude has long been one of the tenets of mindbodygreen—it's even hand-painted on the wall of our offices in a mural by Peter Tunney. And this year, it also emerged as a theme at our Revitalize 2016 conference. (Listen for it in talks by Dr. David Perlmutter, Kelly Rutherford, Dr. Samantha Boardman, and Jonathan Fields, to name a few.)
Thanksgiving provides us an opportunity to evaluate our own gratitude practice, to attempt gratitude even when we feel hurt or heartbroken, and to try and tilt our heads, skew our perspective, and look at the world through a lens of abundance.
It's not always easy—it can sometimes feel incredibly hard—but it's worth trying. In a piece we published yesterday on the science of gratitude, editor Gretchen Lidicker delved into the incredible power of gratitude to increase our well-being, prevent disease, and even help us heal from trauma.
There are so many ways to begin. Positive psychology expert Martin Seligman, PhD, studied the "gratitude visit," in which participants wrote and delivered a letter of appreciation to someone in their lives. This single act caused a significant increase in happiness and decrease in depression, with the effects lasting up to a month after the visit.
In an even simpler approach, mindbodygreen Founder and CEO Jason Wachob (a huge believer in the importance of cultivating a gratitude practice) wakes up each morning, looks at his wife Colleen, and says two words: "Thank you."
As for me, I have dinner with my husband and daughter most evenings. Every time we sit down to eat, we say a few simple words inspired by the Waldorf tradition:
Dear earth, thank you for this food,
For work and play and all that's good,
For wind and rain and sun above,
But most of all, for those we love.
It grounds the day in gratitude and refocuses us on the gift of each other and the simple act of sharing a meal. We'll be saying it again on Thursday as we sit down with three generations of family and friends—with tiny (sticky) hands nestled into bigger, older and wiser ones—and aim to put our hearts in a place of abundance as we gather in gratitude.
And while we're on the subject of gratitude, I'll be also be thinking of you—our readers. I am so grateful to you for taking this journey with us, checking in with us daily, and being a part of the mindbodygreen community. I humbly and gratefully thank you. If you'd like continue exploring the power of gratitude and discover more ways to incorporate it into your life, the list below is a great place to start.
Wishing you full plates, loving interactions, and hearts brimming with gratitude.
- A Gratitude Breath Meditation
- 5 Ways To Practice Gratitude This Thanksgiving (Even If You Don't Feel Thankful)
- So THIS Is Why Gratitude Makes Us Happier
- How To Create A Yoga Practice That's All About Gratitude
- 5 Simple Reasons Gratitude Is Good For Your Health
- 10 Gratitude Principles To Live By
- How Gratitude Is Expressed Around The World
- 5 Everyday Ways To Teach Your Kids Gratitude