The month of November is upon us and amidst the election craziness and continued rising pandemic infection rate numbers, I’d like to take a little time out and focus our attention on some positivity. This is why this month I introduced the idea of "A Month of Gratitude challenge" on my social media accounts (Instagram and Facebook). I want to try to focus our energy on what we can control in our lives, and to point out the awesomeness that’s already there. I’m not trying to put blinders on you and block out all the concerns and happenings in the world, I just know that it isn’t healthy (mentally or physically) to give all your attention to something that provokes stress and negativity. In knowing this, I want to help provide a little outlet or ray of light in your day where you can change gears, take a deep breath, and know that everything will be ok because YOU are in charge. November after all is traditionally a month of Thanksgiving, so it works!
The idea of “practicing gratitude” came into my life a few years ago when I was starting to immerse myself in the world of personal development. Of course growing up I was taught to be grateful, and as a Christian (Catholic) I was taught WHO to be grateful to. This was always something that would float in and out of my mind and lived in the periphery of my life. Being grateful was something I was supposed to do and feel, but deep down that wasn’t always the case. Nevertheless I continued on, always knowing that gratitude was important and the guilt from not always actually being grateful was an all too familiar sting I had learned to live with. I had little awareness of any way to incorporate gratitude into my life until "after the fact," meaning after I acted like a brat I would be reminded that I should be grateful for what I have. I didn’t realize that I could be mindful of gratitude all the time, and that it wasn’t at all a punishment but rather a huge blessing from which to view your life.
Learning about the benefits of gratitude was an incredible eye opener for me, and as I got older and my true purpose in life became more clear I saw how gratitude played a huge part throughout every single day. Gratitude became less of an obligation; it became a way of life. It made my troubles simpler, and my heart open up in ways I never knew possible. It grew all of my most meaningful relationships, especially my relationship with God, and it helped ease the pain of relationships that hadn’t worked out the way I wanted. All this from one simple virtue. My goal this month is to help open your eyes to the benefits of gratitude, teach you how it can improve your life, and encourage you to come up with a gratitude practice of your own. I promise you that there is absolutely no downside to this, and it isn’t too time consuming. The effects are 100% positive.
There are 3 common types of gratitude that we all experience, and you will reap the benefits from practicing any and all of them. The first and most simple form of gratitude is “intellectual gratitude.” Intellectual gratitude in simple the practice of knowing what we have and cherish in life and being grateful for it. This is best practiced with a simple gratitude journal or listing out things you are grateful for every day. The next type of gratitude is known as “felt gratitude.” This is taking intellectual one step further. You take the time to think about how this gratitude makes you feel, and then you take the time to really feel those feelings. The last type of gratitude is referred to as “gratitude in action.” I like to say, this is when you use your blessings to bless others. It’s recognizing that what you have can be shared, and then you take the steps to do it. There is no feeling in the world like gratitude in action.
Most of us understand the benefits of intellectual gratitude. To take the time every day to list out the things we are grateful for will bring these things to the forefront of our minds creating positive thoughts. Sometimes we can do this in a journal, other times we can do this in prayer to direct the gratitude to God, or any higher being or force you believe in. Felt gratitude is something special, and there are ways to incorporate this into your daily life and important ways to practice this that I’d love to share with you.
Felt gratitude deepens your gratitude experience. It quite literally has health benefits! It calms you, releases endorphins, lowers blood pressure, decreases stress hormones and inflammation (and we know that inflammation is the origin of disease.). Felt gratitude can save your life. Felt gratitude involves a different level of intention, awareness, and mindfulness than intellectual gratitude. If you are looking to incorporate this into your life, here are some things you can consider…
(TOP SECRET INFO- there is going to be a BONUS lesson in my Mindset Momma workshop series teaching Gratitude Boarding STEP-BY-STEP!! Make sure you sign up today! Sign up here!)
As you can see gratitude is so much more than just keeping a gratitude journal. While this may be “a lot” at first, you have to understand that you do not have to do it all. Any amount of practicing gratitude will create results in your life! As time goes on gratitude begets more gratitude. You seek out the good in the bad, you treat others better, and you in turn have a lasting effect on the world around you. This is especially true for your children. Gratitude helps with the brat-itude and the bad attitudes. (We all need help with that, amiright?). They will learn from you and how you talk about it. Wouldn't It be an amazing legacy to leave with them? A way to look at life and create your future? It all starts with you trying. So give this a try!
If you want more of this Gratitude for a Month challenge, make sure you follow along with me on social media, sign up for my newsletter, and sign up for my Mindset Momma workshop series!! See all I have to offer right here!!