Posted on Nov 25, 2020

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” 

~ Alphonse Karr ~

Gratitude can be boiled down to perspective and the way you see things.  Do you grumble or are you grateful about roses?

If you suffer from Anxiety, sometimes it can be difficult to get out of a negative cycle of worry to really enjoy yourself.  The good news is that practicing gratitude has a positive effect on relieving symptoms of anxiety.  And gratitude can be a tool used all year to gain freedom from anxiety. Gratitude has the power to change your perspective.

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

The entire month of November has always been about gratitude for me. I have always loved the Thanksgiving holiday, even as a kid.  It’s all about spending time with family and friends, getting together to eat good food and give thanks.  I have so many fond memories of this holiday growing up.  Even that year when my younger brother accidently switched the measurements for salt and sugar when making the pumpkin pie.  I’ll never forget that (and I’ll never let him live that one down, sorry bro 😉).

There is no materialism connected to this holiday with gifts or spending money.  There are simple traditions, human connection, and gratitude.

At my home as an adult, we have hosted Thanksgiving for many years.  I love playing the role of host!  I love that we get to help people feel good, eat great food, and facilitate conversation and connection. In fact, I love hosting, not only at Thanksgiving, but any time I can.  It helps that Les is an amazing cook, and I'm not so bad myself, when I take the time to actually make a meal.  In fact, I have often dreamed of running a bed and breakfast or small retreat center, although that’s a story for another day.

Thanksgiving in 2020

This year, like many other families I imagine, is a little different for us. Most of our regular guests won’t be joining us.  While our table will be filled with many of the typical Thanksgiving foods, they will be much smaller portions to serve fewer people.  And instead of enjoying dessert at our large table together, we have opted to schedule a zoom dessert with my family members.  It’s not exactly the same as sharing a table, but it will do for this year to remain connected. Even though things will be different than years past, what is not to love about this time of year? 

Yet, if you suffer from Anxiety, sometimes it can be difficult to get out of a negative cycle of worry to really enjoy yourself.  Although I love the holiday and hosting, this time of year can provoke feelings of anxiety for me and others as well.  There is a lot to do, in addition to the day to day responsibilities of life.  Will I be able to make everything well?  Will we have enough room for all the guests? Will everyone get along?  And a myriad of other potential stressors.

Ease Symptoms of Anxiety with Gratitude

The good news is that practicing gratitude has a positive effect on relieving symptoms of anxiety.  And gratitude can be a tool used all year to gain freedom from anxiety. Gratitude has the power to change your perspective.

While I am sure most people won’t disagree with the fact that 2020 has been a difficult year, I am personally doing my best to spend time practicing gratitude, especially when things get stressful and overwhelming.  Because I am taking time to do this, I can recognize the many silver linings this year has to offer.  It has also given me an opportunity to spend time assessing what I love in my life and want to do more and what simply doesn’t light me up and I am ready to let go of.  Practicing gratitude (usually at the suggestion of Les) in times of stress have helped me to turn my mood around.

Give Thanks

NEW TO USING GRATITUDE? START HERE: Check out this short Mindful Tip sharing how to use a simple gratitude practice to take a place of darkness and fear and move into a place of light and love.

What is Gratitude?  And How Do You Practice?

Sure, an “attitude of gratitude” sounds good.  But how does it work to ease anxiety?  And how exactly do you practice gratitude anyway?

According to this article, “How Practicing Gratitude Helps You Deal with Anxiety,” on

“Gratitude increases neural modulation in the brain, in the prefrontal cortex, which regulates negative emotions. It also activates dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for making you feel good. The result is instant happiness, prompting you to engage in this practice over and over again.”

Basically, gratitude makes you feel good!

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgiving, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – Proverb

What is gratitude?  It is more than simply saying thank you.  It is a feeling, an emotion.

The definition is: the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

How Can Gratitude Ease Anxiety?  Here are some of the ways:

  • The weight of worry and anxiety is lifted off your shoulders because you see the positive in situations, even the seemingly bad situations.
  • It gives you an opportunity to reprogram your mind. It is difficult, maybe impossible, to feel anxiety and gratitude at the same time.
  • You are able to see past the anxiety. As if the light at the end of a tunnel suddenly appears.
  • It gives you confidence and can release worry and stress.
  • With practice you become more optimistic
  • Increases your overall happiness.
  • You may sleep better if you practice gratitude and release thoughts of worry before bed.

How do you Practice Gratitude?

You can practice gratitude many different ways, I’ll share a few of my favorite ways.

Gratitude Journal

  • Write in a gratitude journal
  • Create a gratitude jar—Place folded papers with things you are grateful for in the jar. You can read a few on a tough day to lift your mood.
  • Meditation (see guided practices below)
  • List 3-5 things you are grateful for each morning or night
  • Practice seeing the good in people and situations
  • Before you get out of bed each morning, think about one thing you are grateful for in your day ahead
  • Send a thank you note to share your gratitude

Do you have any other gratitude practices?  What are you grateful for?  Let us know in the comments below!

Group Hypnotherapy to Gain Freedom from Anxiety

If you are struggling with the symptoms of Anxiety, join me on Saturday, November 28, 2020 at 1:00pm EST for this special event.  Learn more about it here.


Applying Gratitude in Real Life

Gratitude Sleep Meditation

Gratitude Playlist

Tips to Relieve Anxiety

Additional Resources:

If you are looking to dive into the world of meditation in 2020, a great starting point is our 4-Day Meditation Journey. This free program is a great resource for beginners and those looking to step back into the practice of meditation.

The Mindful Movement’s 5-week online course, Living Fulfilled is another great opportunity.  During the course, you will explore how to find your purpose, love yourself, and connect with your authentic self.

Members Oasis for: Unlimited access to all Mindful Movement Meditations and Hypnosis Practices; Exclusive Members Only Content added EVERY month; Practice anytime, anywhere.

Purchase your favorite Meditation and Hypnosis practices from the Mindful Movement. You can download an MP3 file to listen to anytime, anywhere with no internet access necessary.

Hypnotherapy is an extremely powerful tool to support transitions and times of change.  If you decide you want to work one on one with a hypnotherapist, I’d love to help you!

Let us know how we can help.  Please feel to leave a comment with any other suggestions, comments, or questions for the community!

With love and gratitude,

Sara and Les

The Mindful Movement

Practice Gratitude