Take a second to sit up tall, roll your shoulders back, and take a deep breath. Maybe let your eyes close and take another one. Beautiful.

Sometimes it’s seen as a negative thing to show love for yourself, but today we’re going to challenge that, because we deserve it. We’re going to do this with something called Gratitude Affirmations.

Gratitude affirmations are a kind of meditation practice that is intended to change our perspective when we are feeling down. It can take as much time as you’d like, but I usually try to set aside at least 3 minutes to do this.

  1. We begin by settling in, as always. Find a comfortable seated position, place your hands on your knees, and roll your shoulders back, feeling the invisible string at the top of your head gently lifting you up toward the ceiling. Let your eyes gently close and take a few deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  2. After settling in, we are ready to begin with gratitude for ourselves. Think of things you are grateful for that come from yourself. This can feel unnatural at first, but lean into that feeling. Say the things you are grateful for in your head. For example: I am thankful to my body for allowing me to live a healthy and zestful life, I am grateful for my patience in challenging situations, I am grateful for my sense of humor that allows me to connect with others, etc. Take a breath with each affirmation.
  3. Next we will begin focusing on our gratitude for our relationships. For example: I am grateful for my family for supporting me, I am grateful for my mentors who always challenge me, I am grateful for *friend’s name* who loves me for who I am. Repeat these mantras to yourself as you take deep breaths.
  4. Lastly we will meditate on our gratitude for the universe. For example: I am thankful for the nature around me and the chance to live in this world, I am grateful for the sunrise that lifts my spirits as I drive to work each day, I am grateful for the home I live in, etc. Repeat these mantras to yourself as you continue to breathe consciously.
  5. Take a last cleansing breath, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Allow your eyes to slowly open.

Notice how you feel as you go about your day after this practice. Don’t judge, just notice. Has your outlook shifted? Has your self-talk become more kind? Maybe! I hope so!

Have a great rest of your Wednesday, and don’t let this be your last mindful moment of the week.
Brought to you by Christiane Buethe, Special Education Teacher and Restorative Justice Circles Instructor.