4 Powerful Ways to Express Your Gratitude
We’re coming up on Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. If you’re reading magazines, articles, and posts on the internet, you’re probably seeing a lot about gratitude right now.
While the holidays can be a joyful and blessed time, they also can be especially challenging when you’re struggling with emotional eating triggers, finances, strained family relationships, and the stress of this lingering pandemic. Perhaps you feel a disconnect with this push to feel grateful if you’re feeling overwhelmed, lonely, or scared.
If so, that’s okay. Don’t deny your feelings. Acknowledge all of them. But know when to let it go so they don’t spiral out of control. Because it’s so important to remember that even with all the triggers and extra stress of the holiday season, there are so many blessings in each of our lives. And it is a beautiful and rewarding practice to take time to be thankful for these, big and small.
While you’re acknowledging all the gifts in your life, I want to encourage you to recognize the most important blessing of all:
You are a precious, beautiful person. You bring to this world special gifts and talents that no one else has. The world needs you and your gifts. The world needs your light.
You may tend to forget how special you are and how important it is to tend to your own needs, especially now with the extra demands of the holidays. Sometimes it’s easy for all of us to neglect ourselves while we make time for everyone and everything else.
There is nothing better than writing about gratitude when your glass seems half-empty or you’re sure you’re the only one struggling to maintain your holiday cheer. Gratitude gives your body a break from the stress response. The feeling you get from being grateful is not only good for your soul, it’s good for your body and helps calm emotional eating triggers.
Here are a few ideas for expressing your gratitude about the precious and beautiful person that you are. Spend a few minutes this week writing in your journal on the four areas below. Sip a cup of soothing tea. Light a candle. Take a deep breath. Relax…
1. Gratitude for your body.
Just think about the miracle of breathing. Of your heart beating. How your organs work so well together. Your body is an amazing and loving partner on your journey through life, giving you signals and signs about what it—and you—need. Think about how good your body feels after you give it movement and how happy it is when you give it enough sleep, a soothing bath, nourishing food.
Close your eyes. Go within and ask your body, “What do you need from me today so you will feel loved and well cared for?” Listen. Write down what you hear and make a point to give back to your body and honor what it needs from you today.
Then, take a moment and reflect on what you are most grateful for about your body. Write it down. Say, “Thank you.”
2. Gratitude for choosing to care for your body and soul.
Because you’re reading this, I know you understand that learning to love your body and choosing to create a healthier lifestyle is also caring for your soul. Appreciate that you are doing the best you can, that you keep going even when you feel discouraged, that you are learning to be gentle and forgiving with yourself.
What practices have you adopted to care for your body and soul that you now honor faithfully? Do you give yourself time to do things you love? To create space for self-reflection? To take walks? To eat nutritious foods? Maybe this year, despite the challenges of the pandemic, you had a taste of what it means to love yourself and listen to the guidance of your soul.
Whatever steps you took and shifts you made, write them down, as they are definitely something to feel proud of and grateful for.
3. Gratitude for the extra weight you carry.
Yes, I know… this may sound unusual, but you cannot release something that you hate. The energy of hate actually keeps you attached to your weight. Look at the extra weight you carry that you would like to release and let it go with love.
Your weight is actually one of your most important teachers. What does it want to help you with? Maybe carrying this weight began because it was the only way you knew how to protect yourself from the world when you were younger. But trust that you don’t need to be protected that way anymore. Maybe it is helping you learn to love yourself no matter what and to be more compassionate with yourself. Your extra weight is what led you to pay attention to what matters most—to lovingly care for yourself and your body—and for that you can be very grateful.
Turn your attention to to the extra weight that you carry. Close your eyes. Breathe. Then, say to it, “Thank you for helping me love myself more and to trust that I am safe. I love you.” Write these words down as well.
4. Gratitude for your Higher Power.
Think (or write) about the guidance and support you receive from your Higher Power, or the God of your understanding. Reflect on the times you’ve experienced the love of the Divine when you’ve lost your way. When you’ve been transported from feeling like you’re wandering alone in the dark to walking confidently in the light. When you’ve heard the whispers of Divine encouragement guiding you. For knowing that your prayers and your cries for help are always received. Offer thanks right now for the love and guidance of the Divine that is with you—and within you—always.
May you have a blessed Thanksgiving and upcoming holiday season. Thank you for allowing me into your life and to accompany you on this journey. I am so grateful for you.
What do you appreciate about the beautiful person that you are?
Thank you so very much for all the mailings you’ve sent me. I was not prepared for your perspectives and how I could change mine. Most people would say that I am self confident and assured; but it is not so quite a bit of the time. From the beginning, I was aware that I was not what was desired and expected. My mother who strongly loved me died when I was two and a half years old.
I went to live with my paternal grandmother, and with her I came to understand how and why life was. It was both a relief and a hurt to learn my father’s non-verbal messages to me were not a product of my imagination. But then I had to learn how to live with that knowledge after I returned to live with my father and new step-mother.
I had always been a quiet child, spending many hours thinking about different things both about me and my life, and the outside world. I was very curious about the world beyond our front yard and porch. Maybe I felt drawn to the outside world; some of my behaviors were not typical of a “good” child, and must have caused my father and step-mother some embarrassment. But they did not discuss the problems that I had created. That task was left to a social worker. I was uncomfortable talking with a strange person about my most secret thoughts and how they led to my “misbehaviors”.
Someone, perhaps a colleague of my social worker, must have recognized some familiar things from my behaviors and my severe reluctance to talk about things I had done. My social worker brought in a younger woman to talk with me. She was pleasant enough, but I would not talk with her. The only person I may have felt comfortable talking with was my grandmother, but that was not an option.
It was decided that I would be sent to a girl’s home where I might be given other opportunities to demonstrate more suitable behaviors of an adolescent.
Diane: I did not intend to share so much negative aspects of my young life. Most people who have asked general questions about my life growing up have received a short, and non-committal response that is meant to preclude additional queries. If you don’t mind, I would like to take a break from my response to you.
This may not be what you were expecting or hoping to get from me. If I have crossed a line, and shared too much information, please let me know. It is not my intention to burden you with my early life challenges.
Dear Charlotte, Thank you for sharing. Sending you light and love. Blessings, Diane
I have been motivated with this article. There are many things that we not appreciate in our self.
Thank you for this. I live with depression and although I usually manage quite well with medication and CBT, I do have my downward slides now and again. My latest major episode was two years ago when my marriage ended, and the time since then has been full of much hard work, but many wonderful lessons as well. Self esteem has always been a major issue for me, and adding 20 pounds in the last two years hasn’t helped. I have recently been introduced to energy medicine and at the same time, came to your site via the Calorie Counter app, and it feels like a window has been opened, the pieces are coming together, and I’m seeing life in a new way. This particular article came to me at exactly the right time (one of God’s ‘coincidences’ ??!) and really resonated with me. Thank you for helping to open me up to new possibilities. I look forward to learning more about the Inspiration Diet!
Welcome! I love when synchronicity as you describe happens. I’m so glad to hear you’re open to the possibilities of energy medicine and a spiritual approach to releasing weight and caring for your body. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Blessings to you, Diane
such inspiring words thank you. I am very grateful for my journey it’s been a very interesting life and spiritual path.
Your words are such a good reminder one forgets to say thank you at times to my beautiful body.
Wishing you well with the launch of your book it will be a great success and help many people.
In love and light
Bernice (from New Zealand)
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for your kind wishes. Much appreciated.
I love your country! My husband and I traveled there several years ago. The people were lovely and the natural beauty so gorgeous.
Thanks again for taking the time to comment.
Hi Diane I really enjoyed reading thus blog, it makes so much sense to me. I have struggled with my weight and eating since childhood. I went through a lot of abuse and trauma as a child and I do wonder if that’s part of the reason I still find it hard to lose weight. Your words help me to see that I can try and talk to myself and treat my body in a better, kinder way even if this feels very difficult xx
Thank you for sharing. I’m glad this helps.
Wishing you well on your healing journey.
In love & light,