This season of giving, thanks and joy is often overshadowed by taxing schedules and overdrawn bank accounts.
(In fact - I am writing this on Saturday morning while in yoga pants before jetting off to a long-overdue gym visit. Sorry, CrossFit.)
But inspirational speaker and dōTERRA wellness advocate Teresa Lewis says inserting quick gratitude practices into your daily routine can help and increase joy during this festive, but at times, frustrating season.
“Gratitude is as simple as a shift in perspective and it can bring about less stress, more joy and more peace in your life,” she says.
Four years ago, Lewis created her #21DayThanksGivingBinge after she was inspired by a friend. Inspired by the way gratitude has transformed her own life, Lewis felt compelled to share its transformative effects with others.
“Gratitude brings about more peace, more joy and less stress,” she says. “When we change our mindset and our perspective, we think differently, we speak differently and we behave differently.”
Lewis highlights a 2000 study by Emmons and Crumpler: People who regularly express gratitude have better physical health, more optimism, enhanced well-being, and help others more.
According this study, adopting an attitude of gratitude changes your body and mind — the following benefits.
- Improves energy, resiliency and immunity
- Increases happiness, reduces anxiety and depression
- Minimizes toxic emotions
- Strengthens relationships
- Improves sleep
Lewis says the daily challenges included in this "binge" will help you embrace gratitude and create a habit.
“Much of human behavior is driven by habit,” Lewis says. “If we get intentional about creating new habits — such as choosing gratitude — we will see great results in how we feel and in our relationships with others.”
During Day 1 of the #21DayThanksGivingBinge, the challenge is to remove negative words from our vocabulary.
“Since our brains can’t operate in two states simultaneously, if we focus the positive, we are crowding out the negative,” shes says.
Suffering a fear of FOMO and multitasking habits, I’ve just finished Day 1 of challenge and it has boosted my mood significantly.
Lewis would not be surprised by preliminary results.
“The more we focus on something and surround ourselves with it, the more energy we give it,” she says. “Energy goes where attention flows; paying attention and keeping in conversation about gratitude will bring more of it into your life.”
Lewis says these daily challenges included in the “gratitude binge” range from writing a note to someone you appreciate to noticing the little blessings in your life while committing an anonymous act of kindness.
This year the #21DayThanksGivingBinge is available through her Teresa Inspires Podcast.
Informed by her radio experience, Lewis says she launched her podcast as a way to offer a fresh perspective and encouragement.
“This is the first year of adding the podcast as a way to participate in the binge, and it’s been great to hear feedback from people," she says.
Teresa started her personal gratitude reset during early November but says people can join her today in the middle or go back and set their pace.
“You can start anytime! It’s not an ‘all or nothing’ approach by any means,” she says with a laugh.
After the #21DayThanksGivingBinge concludes, Lewis will release podcasts on a weekly basis offering knowledge and tips to help others live fully.
“It’s great to see what people are experiencing by embracing gratitude,” she says. “Ultimately it’s about practicing gratitude and expressing gratitude every day!”
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