Thanksgiving is here and this holiday reminds us of what we are thankful for. Though most are celebrating with a big meal and getting together with loved ones, I wanted to take the time to celebrate the practice of gratitude.
Gratitude has become a way for me to feel centered and positive. I find that whenever I am not feeling aligned, practicing gratitude allows me to change my perspective and feel fully supported in a matter of seconds.
Along with tips from my own practice, I've asked other inspirational women to share their unique, personal ways on how to practice gratitude in your daily life to uplift your spirit and give more love.
Shift your perspective.
"Think back to when you were at your lowest point and acknowledge how far you have come. This always helps me to shift my perspective positively from despair to gratitude. I think about the things I used to wish I had, that I now have, and with that shift from wanting more to just being grateful, I feel proud and empowered." ~ Gwen Lane, The LA Girl
Start with baby steps.
"Start by appreciating the little things, keeping a journal, being humble, and being kind. I have a suggestion - something that I do, write down the five words that are highlighted below on a piece of paper and look at it every morning after you get out of bed. I will give you no further instructions and you will be amazed at the change in your life." ~ Marlene Wallach
Marlene Wallach is the president and owner of the leading modeling and talent management company, Wilhelmina Kids & Teens. She is a five-time published author, guest speaker, and educator, and provides young girls with the tools needed to be the best version of themselves, which begins with learning to practice gratitude in daily life.
Add it to your morning routine.
"Every morning, upon waking up, I spend a few quiet moments, hugging myself and whispering aloud all the things I'm grateful for. I close the meditation with: 'What will be will be. However this day goes, it is supposed to go.' At night, I try to write down all of the things I learned, rather than what I succeeded or failed at and how much more there is to be done. By focusing on what I learned, I remember that life - and business - is a process and how lucky I am to experience it. I end the practice by thanking myself for being self-aware and for embracing self-love since that is the foundation of all gratitude." ~Claire Wasserman
Claire Wasserman is the Founder of Ladies Get Paid, an organization that seeks wage equality and workplace diversity through education and community. We host monthly town halls, workshops, and webinars to give women the skills to advance their career.
"I take the time to meditate almost every morning. It clears my head and puts me in the right mindset to start my day. Ever since I started meditating a few years ago, I've noticed that the little things bug me less and less. Meditating every day helps me live in gratitude. If I ever need a pick-me-up, I like to sit down and make a quick list of all the things that went right today. It really turns my day around!" ~Kylen Moran
Kylen Moran is a personal stylist and popular fashion and beauty blogger KylenEveryWear.com
Write thank you notes.
"Take that gratitude journal one step further, and instead of keeping it to yourself, express your gratitude to someone who deserves it - your mail man, the barista who makes your coffee, your child's teacher, or even a mentor from years ago that you never properly thanked. Your simple words of thankfulness will cultivate gratitude in your own heart and spark joy in the life of a special person." ~Emily Ley
Emily Ley is Founder and Creative Director of Emily Ley Paper & Gifts. She is also the creator of the bestselling Simplified Planner® - a daily agenda for what matters most - and author of GRACE, NOT PERFECTION: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy.
Pay it forward.
"We’ve been grateful to have so many great mentors in our lives, that we express gratitude by mentoring others. It’s so simple, just make a small gesture for another person daily, and you will be surprised at what something so seemingly small might do for a person trying to figure out something in their life. It’s our way to spread gratitude!" – Dawn Carroll and Patti Austin
Dawn Carroll is the Executive Director for the Over My Shoulder Foundation. As Dawn states, “The dream behind the OMSF is to celebrate, nominate, and reward mentors and mentees: a new cadre of creative talent which will have the leadership skills to amend many of our social and economic crises.”
Grammy winner Patti Austin crosses all musical genres, has made 17 solo albums, and has performed her award-nominated hit songs on the GRAMMYS® and the Oscars. She is the co-founder of the Over My Shoulder Foundation.
"Gratitude is a side effect of paying attention. I stay present with every person that I speak to, making sure that I put everything else aside and give them my full focus. I open my eyes to the beauty of my surroundings. I get absorbed in whatever I'm doing. Then, I feel effortlessly grateful." ~ Vironika Tugalev
Vironika Tugaleva is a life coach and award-winning author.
Take a break from the news.
"Go on a news fast! It is hard to feel grateful when you are inundated with negativity. Follow positive people on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Be inspired by all the wonderful people out there. Share their posts, encourage them and see how good you feel." ~ Kathy Walsh
Kathy Walsh is a parenting expert, educator, and mindfulness and meditation coach who began her company, Joyohboy after studying under and working with leaders in the New Age movement such as don Miguel Ruiz, Marianne Williamson and Esther Hicks from the Law of Attraction.
Write mirror messages.
"Gratitude is the superpower I never knew I had. Writing three things on my mirror daily is like magic. Being grateful restructures the brain and instantly activates all the feels to launch into the day like superwoman. Gratitude is the new milk. It does a body good." ~ Jessie Gardner
Jessie Gardner is CEO and Founder of HeySoul, a small start-up with a behemoth-size heart and goal to motivate and inspire people through positively disruptive experiences. She creates gift boxes based on life themes we tend to get disconnected; Adventure, Creativity, Love, Joy, Calm, etc. and leads workshops to create experiences to reconnect to these themes.
" A simple mindfulness practice can help you discover gratitude in your daily life, and can be done any time, any where. As you inhale, notice how you take in or receive life. On the exhale, notice how you contribute or give to life. Open your mind and heart to allow gratitude for all that you take in and all that you put out. Shorten this practice with a mantra, repeating to yourself on the inhale and exhale: 'I receive, I give.'" ~ Leah Guy
Leah Guy is a down-to-earth health educator with an extensive background in holistic living. An artist, inspirational speaker, yogi and on-camera TV personality, she folds in 20-plus years of energy healing and nutritional studies alongside an intuitive approach to wellness that creates a healing space that is unique and transformative.
Do a random act of kindness.
"By doing something for others, even though this might be a small gesture, increases your level of happiness and makes you feel good. You can also share something you’re grateful for at the dinner table every night. By doing this, not only do you experience gratitude, everyone at the table is engaging in this wonderful sharing activity." ~ Norine Vander Hooven
Norine Vander Hooven is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Westlake Village, California. She specializes in suicide prevention, depression, anxiety, and life transitions.
If you still need some inspiration to practice gratitude in your daily life, try writing in a gratitude journal or join the Facebook Group, The Gratitude Circle where every one posts something that they're grateful for every day!