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In November, and especially around Thanksgiving, we often take pause to think about the things we’re thankful for in our lives. Whether these things are big or small, the act of gratitude can have positive effects on our overall well being.

Research shows that grateful people tend to sleep better, have improved self-esteem and overall stronger mental health. Knowing this, November is the perfect time to start an ongoing gratitude practice that will benefit you throughout the entire year. 

There are many ways to experience and express gratitude. Here are a few easy things you can start doing today:

Write it Down: 

Ease into your gratitude practice by writing down five things that you’re thankful for each day. They can be things that are big or small. For instance, it’s perfectly okay to be thankful for something as simple as the ground beneath your feet. 

Pause and be Present:

It’s easy to get caught up in worrying about events of the past or hypothetical happenings of the future. In these cases, take a moment to be fully present. Even if it’s just for five minutes, sit and think through all the things in your life that you’re currently grateful for. 

Get to Your Mat:

The next time you’re at your favorite TCY class (or practicing via Yoga On Demand) and your instructor asks you to set an intention, try dedicating that practice to expressing gratitude. Throughout class, focus on the things you enjoy like your teacher, the postures or what your body can do.

Call/Text a Loved One: 

Reach out to a family member or friend for no reason other than to tell them you’re thinking of them. Have a meaningful conversation and be sure to listen to what is going on in their lives, good or bad. Taking the time to connect reminds us just how valuable personal relationships are. 

Donate Time and/or Money: 

Giving back to a non-profit or charitable organization is a great way to show gratitude. Take time to volunteer at an organization that is close to your heart. A financial contribution (no matter the amount) can show your thanks as well. 

Send a Thank You Note: 

Sending a thank you note is a thoughtful way to put a smile on someone’s face. Tell whoever you’re writing to why you appreciate them and how they enrich your life. 

Be Kind to Yourself:

As with anything else, developing a gratitude practice won’t always be easy. There will be days where life isn’t going your way or you just feel off, and that’s okay. Be appreciative of the fact that you’re taking on the challenge of finding gratitude in daily life. 

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