The holiday of Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to be with family. It’s a time when we can express gratitude, enjoy good food and enjoy being together. I have noticed in my email inbox and facebook stream that there are many people taking time each day to list specific things they are grateful for. I love seeing these lists and it helps me reflect on the blessings in my own life.
I know focusing on gratitude has helped me in my own life to get out of patterns of doubt and depression. When we have the energy to make a true effort to focus on the things we appreciate about our lives we start to have more “sunny days” instead of “cloudy days”.
You can easily start by listing one thing you are grateful for today, and focus on that until you begin to see other things and your list can grow to 2, 3, 4, 5 and more things. It’s interesting that these lists generally reflect the things we have or the people who show up for us when we need a cheerleader or a shoulder to cry on. This type of gratitude list focuses on things outside of ourselves. So how does the old adage, “You are the only one who can make you happy,” fit into this type of gratitude practice?
What would happen if we took time to be thankful for ourselves? Would that be too selfish of a practice? It is easy to think that focusing on ourselves is selfish. It isn’t true! Self-care should be our number one priority. When we care for ourselves, even by feeling gratitude and appreciation for ourselves we can give more to others. We can more easily share our time, our energy and our love more meaningfully with others.
In the spirit of gratitude during this season of Thanksgiving take time to thank yourself for being you!
10 Ways to Show Yourself Gratitude
- Write down a list of things you love about yourself. Include at least 10 things. This is a great list to pull out and read when you have days where you tend to beat yourself up.
- If you ever think or speak negatively about yourself stop and immediately give yourself two compliments. Here’s two now, “I am amazing!” “I am beautiful!”
- Accept compliments gracefully instead of dodging or deflecting them. Just say, “Thank you!”
- Compliment yourself. Look in the mirror, really look into your eyes, at least once a day and give yourself a compliment. This one can be done every day!
- Smile more.
- Make a list of things you like to do. Use this list and take time every day to do something you enjoy.
- Schedule time to take yourself on a date. This can be a free date like a walk through the park or a hike in the mountains or it can be a little more luxurious like scheduling a pedicure or a massage.
- Make a list of your accomplishments and how you have made a difference in the lives of others.
- Talk to yourself, every bit of yourself, express gratitude for all your parts. Set aside time to do this occasionally, try not to leave out any parts. Here’s an example: Talk to your hands and let them know how grateful you are for all that they do every day, for the things they create for the work that they do and for the tenderness that they give.
- Listen to your heart. It may be a stretch to start showing gratitude to yourself, just ask your heart where to start- it will know the answer.