Tags: DigIn, DigIn22, Magazine, DigInMagazine, Dec, December, Winter, thanksgiving, giving thanks, staying calm, mental health tips

Living in Gratitude

Author: Living Well Eating Smart Registered Dietitian Team

Giving thanks and appreciation to all things beyond the holiday season.

During the holidays, more than ever, many of us take the time to reflect upon all we have. In lieu of making the holiday season the moment in which you intentionally take pause to have gratitude, why not let today be the beginning of a new chapter?

Let this day become the day you embark on a campaign of gratitude. THE day in which you begin carving out space for stepping back and reflecting on moments— from the easiest to the hardest— and how they impact who you are becoming.

Imagine expressing gratitude for all life’s moments, instead of just those that are enjoyable, fun and easy. How would your outlook shift?

If this holiday season is the first after saying goodbye to a soulmate, losing a family member or being alone, you may dismiss this invitation as wearing rose-tinted glasses. What if it’s not? What if you try it on for size and see how it fits? What is the worse that could happen?

Maybe you’ll find it hard to shift your usual, negative thoughts into nuggets of life lessons. Maybe the process will be cumbersome and leave you feeling a bit awkward. Isn’t that okay? What you have to gain is more than you probably imagine— the feeling of wholeness while becoming a student of life.

As you begin to give gratitude for all of life’s moments, you become an observer. Stepping back to see how life plays out will show you how truly interconnected life’s moments are, as well as your role in personal relationships, versus feeling the victim.

Taking time to have gratitude for what life has to offer may have an amazing result: it brings you back to your true self. You may become more receptive to your own intuition, or voice in your gut, telling you the answers your heart or brain fight not to hear. You may begin living life with an open heart without regret. You may just begin absorbing the wonders around you like the laughter of a child that makes you smile or the stars overhead that take your breath away.

In her book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, social worker, researcher and story teller Dr. Brené Brown states “Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy and gratitude into our lives.”

Practicing a life of gratitude, even if you have to fake it until you make it, will bring you to your authentic self, allow your heart to see grace in life’s most mundane moments and thereby bring you joy as you appreciate the amazing ride that is life.

Published 12/1/2022