Autumn is a season of harvest, abundance and thankfulness. As the weather cools and the days shorten, our psyche registers the changes and we naturally become more reflective as we head toward a New Year.
While many are thinking forward to their goals for 2020, consider spending last few months of 2019 mentally cataloging and paying thanks to the many blessings this current year has brought! Today, we’ll share with you three gratitude practices for the autumn season.
Why Practice Conscious Gratitude?
The practice of conscious gratitude has been the subject of many recent scientific studies. Some of the proven benefits of including this in your wellness routine include:
- Strengthens immune system
- Increases generosity and compassion
- Cultivates joy and optimism
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves sleep quality
- Enhances self-esteem
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Make time to write down things you’re grateful for—big or small. This practice helps you to gain perspective and recognize things that may be a “blessing in disguise” (or blesssons, as we at SWIHA call them). It can be a simple bullet point list that you continually add to, specific things about that day, or you could write long-form entries through the use of prompts, such as:
- What didn’t you have one year ago that you are thankful to have now?
- What personality traits to do you possess that you are grateful for?
- What are you looking forward to experiencing?
- Who in your life has helped you recently?
- What memories make you laugh?
Your gratitude journal is uniquely you! It’s also a great place to visit on days where you’re feeling discouraged or stuck.
Tell People What They Mean to You
When was the last time you reminded someone how much you appreciate their presence? Some friends, family and even co-workers are such constant figures that we often forget how essential they are to our lives. Simple ways to express gratitude for a person can be:
- “I love our conversations.”
- “You inspire me.”
- “You are a blessing”
- “Your support means a lot.”
- “I love your warmth.”
- “I’m so glad to know you.”
You can also write letters or send a card if that is a more comfortable way for you to express yourself.
Commit to Not Complaining or Consuming Negativity (For a Day!)
As the Reiki principles state: “Just for today, I will…”. On a day that you have freedom and flexibility, commit to making it overwhelmingly great! Be mindful of your internal dialogue, and choose to do only things that bring you joy. It’s like super-charging your attitude of gratitude! Some ideas include:
- Spend time in nature
- Watch a movie you loved as a child
- Eat a meal at your favorite restaurant
- Stay off of social media and news sites
- Send a thank-you note to someone who recently helped you
- Volunteer for or donate to a cause close to your heart
Incorporating gratitude in to your everyday is easy—and beneficial! By taking it day-by-day and remaining present, it becomes an unconscious action leading to a happier, healthier life.