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  • Annie Ranger

Finding Gratitude in the Smallest of Places


GRATITUDE

An emotion that creates positivity that both reaches inward and extends outward.



November is all about gratitude.  It's National Gratitude Month and we have Thanksgiving, an entire holiday that is all about being grateful. But what about the other days and months of the year? What a perfect time to share a few stories and tips that can help invite gratitude into our busy everyday lives and, according to studies, even boost our immune system!


Let's start with a grateful breathing/meditation. 

First, take 3 deep cleansing breaths in and out, and then: 

  • Breathe In - ask yourself what are you grateful for… Breathe Out

  • Breathe In - ask yourself what are you grateful for… Breathe Out

  • Breathe In - ask yourself what are you grateful for… Breathe Out

Repeat as many times as you want



Finding Gratitude in the Smallest of Things Can Help - Science Says So!

Studies show that, over time, feeling grateful boosts happiness and fosters both physical and psychological health.  By consistently tracking what you are thankful for and acting on those feelings of appreciation you can actually boost your immune system! This is great to know as cold and flu season approaches! PsychologyToday.com shares “Brain scans of people assigned a task that stimulates expression of gratitude show lasting changes in the prefrontal cortex that heighten sensitivity to future experiences of gratitude. It is the emotion that literally pays itself forward." Changing our perspective and looking for the little things can guide us to gratitude. I should know, I get plenty of practice!

I started missing (maybe even obsessing) over the rose garden in my old house/home.  I started down the path of questioning if we made the right decision to sell our home without finding a new one, but then I decided to S.T.O.P.  Rather than go down worry lane, I tried to think of all the things to be grateful for, big and small, and today it hit me... I have a blossoming rose bush right in front of our new place, the same kind I had in my garden at our old home. I describe this new residence as temporary, but, in reality, it is home. And I am very grateful for it. So now when I walk straight up to the rose bush and notice a new rose blossoming, opening, right front of my eyes, I say a little prayer of thanks. 

Here are five ways to invite gratitude into your busy, everyday life.

  • Wake up and find a reason to be thankful.

  • Write a thank you note to someone.  Expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better.

  • Find the silver lining to a challenging situation. Rather than asking, "why is this happening to me?" replace it with "why is this happening for me?"

  • Take time out to focus on the present moment.

  • Make a gratitude jar with your kids (see how below!).


GRATITUDE JARS

Making a gratitude jar is a fun activity and a great way to think about what you are grateful for. When you take the time to notice the little things, you may surprise yourself with just how much abundance you have in your life. Then watch as each day fills up with more happiness and peace!





Mindful Eating This Thanksgiving

Before you take your first bite of that delicious Thanksgiving feast, take a moment to think of everything that went into getting your food in front of you.  From the sun, soil and water that helped grow the food, to anyone who helped it get to you, like the farmers, laborers, truck drivers, and people at the market, to whoever prepared it, so that is now the beautiful plate before you. Then, take a moment to think how that food will make you feel, nourish you, and, if you are like me, add 5 extra pounds. Oops, forget that last part!  Let’s stay focused on gratitude! 

I am so grateful for my community of friends and family who are a part of my village. It truly does take a village, and when something happy or sad happens to one of us it affects us all. This month especially, I want to give an extra thank you to you all. I send love and strength with this post to whoever needs an extra dose.  


REMEMBER TO BREATHE

Mindfully Yours, Annie Ranger


Author of Mindful Owl Adventures - Friendships Through Mindfulness

Winner, 2019 Mom's Choice Gold Award Winner, Living Now Gold Award

"This innovative, magnificent story is sure to be a parent's favorite and a child's treasure!" San Francisco Book Review, 5 Stars

Get your copy today at Amazon!

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Four Oaks Press

149 South Barrington Avenue, Suite 180

Los Angeles, California 90049

310 844-1973

Annie@FourOaksPress.com