With all of the negativity, divisiveness, and tragedy that has plagued the past year (thanks, 2016), we're welcoming any and all tips when it comes to prepping for a more positive and promising New Year. And while we can't ignore or undo the unfortunate events of the past, it's important to move forward in an introspective way.
It's more evident now than ever before that we can and should mentally prepare for positive change to start 2017. Fortunately, the one trick in doing so is easy—practicing gratitude. By showing appreciation for all of the good fortune (no matter how small) on a regular basis, we allow ourselves to be more aware of the positive rather than dwell on the negative. Acknowledging the good rather than the bad will then turn into a routine habit.
That said, practicing a gratitude ritual is one impactful way to mentally prepare yourself for a positive start to the New Year. And in case you need a bit of guidance for where to begin, Well + Good tapped a few gratitude gurus to share their specific approaches, which can help you share and spread the positivity, especially during the holidays. Take the advice of a few of our favorite spiritual leaders below.
- Gala Darling: "I play the gratitude game—where everyone comes up with five things they’re grateful for, and speaks about them at length—with my partner and his daughter. (We did this the day after the election, and it really helped.)"
- Ryan Weiss of Waking Up With Ryan: "A day hasn’t gone by in five years that didn’t start with my gratitude practice. I simply say aloud five things I am grateful for before I even get out of bed. This is the beginning of my 10-minute morning practice, which includes further affirmation, movement, and breath. Without it, the world so easily pulls me into its preferred ways of thinking—namely, fear and judgment. But I get to choose how I feel, and so starting the day with gratitude gets me started on the right foot."
- Taryn Toomey of The Class: "When you feel gratitude for somebody, reach out. Speak it. You have no idea what that person could be dealing with and how those simple words could help shift the direction of their thought process."
- Lodro Rinzler of MNDFL: "Sometimes I wake up and just pause before entering the action. I connect with my body laying in the bed. I gently lift up through my spine. I slowly open my eyes. I feel the natural cycle of my breath. Then I take literally one minute to contemplate: “What am I grateful for today?” I just notice whatever responses may arise. Sometimes I’m surprised what little (or big) things are going on in my day that are worthy of celebrating. Then I’m more able to mindfully enter my day."
Shop a few of our favorite wellness products to set you up for a positive start to 2017 below.
What do you think of these gratitude rituals? Will you start practicing one in 2017? Share your opinion below.