Ah, it’s November. Leaves are changing color. The temperature is cooler. The Marine Corps Marathon is over. Children are starting to make Christmas lists. And, Thanksgiving is coming.
With Thanksgiving approaching, this is a time of year when you may consider practicing more gratitude than usual. For me, while my family will undoubtedly practice “gratefulness” on Thanksgiving as we do every night, this year is markedly different. My sister is gone. (My sister passed away suddenly in June.) Andrea organized the whole Thanksgiving Day. From grocery lists, menus including several family traditions, and always planned the whole day around the Dallas Cowboys Football game (my husbands beloved team).
While this may be the first time I heard my husband express real sadness (because Andrea won’t be here), this is also a really hard time for all of us – her siblings, our children, and her hundreds of friends…it is also the best time for us to practice gratitude. “By cultivating gratitude as the brain’s first response to stress, our reaction to negative experiences will become positive (e.g., peace, love, happiness, abundance)—not fear, anxiety, or anger” according to Ryan Wilder of Early to Rise.
And while the holidays are a great reminder to express gratitude, it’s not the only time of the year when we should be doing it.
Why should you care so much about gratitude? Gratitude is one of the most powerful tools to increase happiness. You can’t be in a state of appreciation and fear, or anxiety, at the same time.
If you can bring more gratitude into your life every single day, you will be happier, more fulfilled, and more appreciative for everything you have right now. And the benefits go beyond just mental and emotional health; more research is demonstrating that gratitude can improve your physical health as well. A gratitude practice translates over to almost every facet of your life.
Gratitude has a huge impact on us from a neurological level. When we express and receive gratitude, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happier.
Whatever gets in your mind and stays there, you will attract it in your life. If you’re constantly thinking about never having enough, you will always attract lack. If you’re constantly thinking about not being well or not being happy with your body, you will always feel like you’re chasing elusive health goals and you’re always going to be wanting more.
If you take the time to appreciate all the things you already have in your life, you will start to feel more fulfilled and abundant, which will then attract more abundance and wellness into your life. We often talk about cultivating a “growth mindset” among our concierge clients. This is an easy way to begin to build one.
“Success without gratitude is the biggest failure of all” – Tony Robbins
Set aside the same time to intentionally express gratitude with some of the tips above. From there, figure out how to incorporate it more and more throughout the day. When you cultivate gratitude every day, you can shift your perspective and show up better in the world.
Alexandria Wellness offers achievable answers for anyone who is tired of chasing fitness and health without a clear plan, someone who has struggled and is not satisfied with their fitness and wellness or someone who is open to maximized healthful longevity and fitness along with healthful weight loss. Adrien and her team offer help with food guidance, body acceptance, sleep and stress issues, and insist you have fun along the way.
215 North Payne Street
Alexandria, VA 22314