Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and for many of us, our thoughts are focused on those things for which we are grateful. We share with our loved ones what we’re grateful for and this acknowledgment helps us to focus and express self-care.
For many of us, however, tomorrow is the only day that we are consciously mindful of and consciously and verbally express feelings of gratitude.
Optimal health, including skin health relies on our expressions of gratitude, so it benefits your entire body and truly your entire life when you practice gratitude daily.
One of the biggest thieves of our beauty and skin glow, and menace to our skin’s ecosystem is stress. However, one of the best ways you can be proactive and guard against stress is to create a daily practice of gratitude.
Consciously expressing what you’re grateful for is actually a relaxation technique that focuses your mind, alleviates stress-related acne and produces an internal glow.
We’ve been encouraged to begin our days by acknowledging what we’re grateful for in the mornings, but as you know, the morning can be a hectic, overwhelming rush and dare I say it, a surge of stress-inducing worries and fears. . . and there is no exact rule that says you must practice gratitude in the morning.
However, I’ve put together a list of quick and specific acts that you can do in the morning, in the afternoon, before bed, or whenever works best for you, that helps you practice gratitude and keeps stress moving further away from you so that your health and skin are protected and optimized in healthy ways.
5 Practices to Reduce Stress in 10 minutes or Less (you can do the whole list at once or choose those acts that best resonate with you).
- Say “Thank You.”
- Look upward and say “Thank You” to give gratitude for waking up and also acknowledging your Creator for being and for having another day.
- Or, close your eyes and reflect inward, thanking yourself for taking the time to practice an act of gratitude and for appreciating yourself for doing the best you know how to do for yourself (and others) right now.
- Or, do both!
- Breathe consciously—5 Breaths.
Sit or lie in a comfortable position or stand up with hands in a prayer position and breath in FIVE slow and deep breaths, focusing on breathing from your stomach first, then letting the breath expand your ribcage and eventually exhaling slowly. This helps to create a state of inner and outer calm.
- Write down two things for now and beyond.
The first—an actual thing that you are grateful for that you tangibly see or experience now.
For example: I am grateful for my loving and supportive family. (Take a moment to feel this gratitude).
The second thing—write a wish, hope or intention you would like to specifically manifest today or in the future. Write it as if it is already here.
For example: I am so happy my meeting went well today at work.
Or—I am grateful for my monthly professional facials I easily afford.
Or—I love that I have the time to workout and that I enjoy fitness.
Whatever you desire and however you’d like to write it that rings true to you.
(Take a moment to feel this new experience and visualize seeing yourself in this act).
- Focus on one word and create an affirmation. Find a word that resonates with you. It might ground you or energize you or make you feel safe.
In the shower, or while getting dressed or just sitting quietly, say this word aloud and then too yourself, repeating it inwardly for a minute or two. Focus on it and meditate on this word and even let it move in rhythm with you while you get dressed, move about or breathe it in.
It could be a fun word like bubbles. My friend uses that to ground and boost her. She says it makes her happy.
Or, it could be “deeper” word like: joy; freedom; clarity; love, etc.
Whatever word you choose, use it to create an affirmation. Speak it aloud and then to yourself. Write it down if you like.
For example: I am as carefree as bubbles floating about.
I am a joyous bubble of good energy.
I am in love with me.
I am grateful for my skin’s clarity.
- Take a whiff of oil. Inhale a whiff or two or three of lavender essential oil or another calming oil such as orange, nutmeg or vanilla. Say “thank you” for its benefits or as you inhale the oil, or, as you breathe in the oil, also breathe in a positive word, or something you have already just expressed you are grateful for in the above acts.
If this is the only act of gratitude you practice for the day, yay!
However, if you’ve practiced the other acts of gratitude listed above, use your imagination to think that the inhaling of this oil is sealing in all of the good things that you’ve acknowledged and you’re locking this goodness within this nourishing oil.