Self-Care: The Gift of Gratitude

Life can be unpredictable and chaotic, especially these days. It is important to take time for yourself. Like most things in life, self-care is on a spectrum. It looks different for each of us. Whatever you need is what it is.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” — Melody Beattie (American author)

Gratitude enhances our well-being—it gives us a moment to pause, reflect, and appreciate. It disconnects us from negative thoughts and allows us to transition to positive energy and optimism. 

Scientists, spiritual leaders, and scholars have studied the effects of gratitude on physical health, on mental well-being, and on our relationships with others. According to a Clinical Psychology review from 2010, in recent years a very large body of evidence has emerged suggesting that gratitude is strongly related to all aspects of well-being. 

So how can we practice gratitude? Well there are different ways and like all self-care exercises, it’s however you want. Perhaps it is saying out loud 3 things you are grateful for every day. Maybe while you’re brushing your teeth, you can think of these 3 things. Some may prefer to have a gratitude journal where they can write this out, others may want to express their gratitude out loud to their friends, family, or loved ones. 

As Thanksgiving draws near, we are reminded to reflect on the last year and the many things we are grateful for. And this year was not easy for anyone, but perhaps this is the time to try to center one’s self and remember that if nothing else, we are still here, breathing one breath at a time, and sometimes that’s all we need to be reminded that we are thankful.