It’s officially November! Fall is sweeping in. Trees are more colorful, the air is crisper, the Halloween candy is being traded in for some pumpkin and peppermint treats, and holiday plans are getting closer. November can also begin a time where some focus on adding more gratitude into their lives. You might be wondering about whether you should start building a gratitude practice. If you are interested and are looking for not only how to get started, but also for some mental health benefits, then check out some tips below to find out. 

Thank your body:

One way to add in a gratitude practice is to thank your body for its functions and how it serves you. You can thank your legs and feet during your morning run, you appreciate your eyes for seeing the things around you, and you can even give your arms a shoutout for holding your grocery bags. You can do it while already engaging in your regular activity, or you can carve out some special time to thank your body while looking in a mirror.  However you might say thanks to your body, doing so can boost your self-esteem and overall mental wellness. 

List it out before bed:

Like so many, perhaps you are incredibly busy throughout your day. Work, school, and so many other commitments can sneak up on you and by the time you catch your breath, you’re in bed getting ready to start it all over again. If that’s the case, then it can be so easy to just add in a simple thank you list before you fall asleep. 

Pick just a few things that happened in your day to think about. Perhaps it’s that delicious meal you were able to enjoy, that song that came on shuffle that helped you have a little dance party, or even that cute dog you saw while walking to your car. 

Whatever comes up in your gratitude recap can not only help integrate bursts of thankfulness to your day, but it can also improve your sleep quality. Adding in those happy thoughts just before you drift off to sleep increases the likelihood of deep relaxation and improved mood

Thank your support systems:

Another way of adding in those moments of appreciation is to thank your loved ones and support systems while you’re already chatting with them. You can add in a little thank you text while you’re messaging your best friend group chat, you can give your parent an extra appreciation comment when you’re on your weekly phone chat, or you can give your partner an extra hug and can thank them for anything they may have helped you with that day or week. 

Adding in those extra moments of gratitude for your loved ones can strengthen your relationships, increase empathy, and may also help you gain insight on how much they appreciate you back!

Wishing you a loving and peaceful November. As always, wishing you a month filled with Jubilance.

About the author

Becca is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist Associate who gives us her expert perspective on Emotional Health and Wellness. She holds an M.A in Education with an emphasis in Counseling as well as an M.S. in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from San Diego State University.  Each month she writes about mental health and how to feel your best!
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