Sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the traditions of holidays that we forget how it’s equally important to pause. Gratitude is an essential component of a meditation practice that can often be pushed to the side. Kind of like the healthy options at the Thanksgiving table.
Treat gratitude like a muscle. The more you work it, the stronger it gets. If you want proof, an article printed in Harvard Medical School’s journal affirms that gratitude is correlated with greater happiness in positive psychology research. You may not be able to choose your family, but you certainly can choose your level of gratitude.
The morning of Thanksgiving, before you get weighed down by your meal, have a seat in silence. Keep your spine tall and start to slow down your breath, letting it naturally pause between the inhalation and the exhalation.
Once you feel focused, let your mind drift to one thing you feel grateful for. This could be a person in your life, your job, your pet or a location.
Once you have a focal point, notice the feeling around your heart. Try to imagine this feeling expanding with each breath that you take.
Give yourself two more points of gratitude to concentrate on for a few minutes. Whether it be the sunrise or the orchid on your kitchen table, let yourself feel pure gratitude for all of the good that surrounds you.
End your meditation by silently repeating to yourself “Thank you.” Say it three or four times, and then slowly open your eyes.