Did you know November is National Gratitude month? It makes sense right? Thanksgiving dinner for many of us is a tradition of friends and family gathering around the table sharing what we are thankful for. In November we hear more about gratitude in general. It's everywhere. We see the word "grateful" in every home decor section, on fireplace mantles, blog posts, social media, commercials, magazines, schools, work places, and more. But what does it mean to have gratitude?
According to 2003 research by Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons gratitude is a practice of appreciating something positive in our lives that comes from somewhere other than ourselves. Research shows that this simple practice is powerful. So we should not wait for the month of November to start.
Research also shows that offering gratitude on a daily basis benefits people in three primary ways: physical, emotional and social. Some of the benefits include improved blood pressure and immune function, improved quality of sleep, improved mood, decreased stress levels, improved optimism, more joy and less loneliness, and more compassion towards others.
Practicing gratitude helps us to change our perspective on our current situation (especially if we are focused on negatives and stressors) to a more positive outlook and recognize how we are already being supported. Below are two easy ways to practice gratitude.
1. GRATITUDE JOURNAL: A daily gratitude journal can help rewire our brains towards positivity and highlight what is working in our lives versus what is not working. This practice helps ground us each day and reminds us of our blessings, the simple things we take for granted, and allows us to express appreciation for them. It can be as simple as saying "I'm grateful for the roof over my head," or "I'm grateful to be born in the USA," or " I'm grateful for the kind cashier at the store today."
2. Create "A GET TO DO LIST" or "A GRATEFUL LIST." Gratefulness and gratitude are a bit different. Being grateful is recognizing the opportunity in the moment, instead of practicing gratitude at a later moment. Being grateful is saying "I get to" instead of "I have to." This can work even if you are grumpy about having to do something. This may sound counter intuitive, but begin by taking a few deep breaths to ground, focus and calm yourself. Then try saying " I get to" instead of "I have to." For example, imagine you are upset because you are required to attend to a meeting you do not have time for. Instead of saying "I have to go to another useless meeting today," try saying "I get to go to a meeting and connect with others and learn something new." Or instead of saying "I have to wash all these clothes this week," try saying "I get to wash my clothes each week in a first world, modern day washing machine. I am so lucky." Or how about instead of "I have to drive my child to school everyday," try saying "I get to drive my child to school everyday and have the opportunity to bond with him/her. I get to spend this quality time with my child every morning."
Simply reframing a situation and shifting the wording can help change what may first seem like an inconvenience to something beneficial that brings you or someone else joy. When doing these daily practices try to be as specific as you can with your wording. Soon practicing gratitude will be easy and part of your everyday, not just a Thanksgiving day ritual.
Tranquil Healthcare is giving back during the month of November as a way to show gratitude to the Del Ray community. 10% of all sales this month will be donated to a Del Ray local non-profit food bank.
If you would like to help give back, schedule an appointment now for one of our many services: mental health, wellness, and anti-aging. See services listed below.
Anti Aging Services: Botox anti-wrinkle injections, filler, IV vitamins, detox infusions, immune support, microneedling, PRP therapies for hair loss, facials and more.
Mental Health Services: coaching and counseling
Wellness: food sensitivity and heavy metal testing, mold toxicity testing, environmental toxicity testing and more.
Book at www.tranquilhealthcare.com
Tranquil Healthcare: an Integrative Mental Health & Wellness practice focusing on anxiety and depression disorders as well as improving over all health and wellness. Tranquil Healthcare is the only board certified female run solo Nurse Practitioner practice in the heart of DC focusing on mental health and wellness. Learn more at tranquilhealthcare.com