I so so so love my new gratitude practice.
Before bed I make a list of ten things I’m grateful for. Yes, I count them on my fingers. I say them over and over in my head and then drift off to sleep.
Well, not over and over as I actually fall asleep before the second round. I don’t have insomnia, but I do have a busy brain and I need routines and rituals to help ease me to sleep. Otherwise, I toss and turn. I’m very restless.
While I am glad this new gratitude practice helps me fall asleep it is actually about so much more.
This practice is good for all three parts of me – mind, body and soul.
Mind – because it slows things down and makes me reflect in a positive way on the day. I do have a loop of all the things I found demanding, unsatisfying or upsetting playing in my mind. While I list in my head the things I am thankful for my busy mind stops rehashing the day in woulda-coulda-shoulda ways.
Body – My gratitude practice also helps calm my body. Being quiet and patient slows down my breathing and my heart rate. By being still and meditating on what I appreciate my body is better able to enter a sleep state. Sleep is SO IMPORTANT to health.
Soul – This one is obvious. Being thankful is good for the soul (however you define it) because it encourages empathy, reduces depression, and increases psychological resilience. All things I want and help me connect with the great unknown in a safe and inspired way.
Want to know more about the science behind the benefits of gratitude? Check out this article.