Make a commitment to live a life of positivity and light by practicing gratitude on a daily basis. You will see how much sweeter and fun your life will become.
We hear these words a lot: Be grateful for the little things and be happy for what you have. Other people have it so much worse. Be thankful you have your health, etc… All the self help books talk about how practicing gratitude can change your mindset and shift your perspective from negative to positive. That sounds great and all but at times it sounds easier said than done.
We live in a world that is full of conflict, chaos, and stress and sometimes it makes it really hard to find gratitude. It seems like everywhere we turn we are only inundated with bad news, conflict and hate. You turn on the television and our news outlets just remind us of all the terrible things happening in the world. When we turn to social media, we are constantly reminded that we are not good enough, not pretty enough, not rich enough, not whatever enough.
It can really challenge even the most confident and the most grateful people.
But, starting your day by practicing gratitude on a consistent basis has huge health benefits, especially for those that experience bouts of depression and sadness. It can help to boost your mood and improve your sense of well-being.
You can incorporate practicing gratitude into your day by doing one or all of the following:
1.During your morning manifestation routine, close your eyes and take a few minutes to give thanks for the simple things in your life. For example, this morning I gave thanks for the coffee I was about to have and the ability to smell the wonderful aroma. Try not to be too general, like, I’m thankful for my health. Get specific. For example, I am thankful that I am physically able to take my kids to the park and run around with them.
2. As you go about your day, pay close attention to the little things that you should be thankful for. Doing this will help you see just how much you really have to be thankful for. You will be amazed at just how much your mood will be lifted by just pausing, looking around and saying thank you to the Universe. This could be the smell of fresh flowers or the beautiful sunset you saw on your way home. Try not to overthink it. Even if it seems trivial and insignificant, take a moment to appreciate it and be grateful. Remember, there is so much beauty in our everyday life if we just open our eyes and look.
3. Make a list or start a gratitude journal. Writing down the things you are grateful for is a great exercise to get you thinking about what you are thankful for in life. It’s also a great way to reflect back and remember what you were thankful for during that time. For me, a visual reminder is an effective way for me to shift my perspective back from negative to positive. Jot down at least 3 things on your list and you can do this first thing in the morning, during your lunch break or at night before you sleep; whatever feels best for you. What’s important is that you schedule a time to do this on a daily basis and making it a habit.
4. Pay attention to your emotions. Of course there will be times where you are challenged and as much as you try, you can’t find anything at that moment to be grateful for. Don’t stress about it! This will just agitate your anxiety, trust me, I know! Just take a few deep breaths, get up and stretch, go for a walk or exercise. Moving your body can help shift your focus and help feelings of gratitude to come naturally.
5. Share your gratitude with others. Communicate with others and tell them how they affect your life in a positive way. Send written thank you cards or send a quick text to a friend who has helped you during your time of need. Doing this will not only make your soul happy but you will be making someone’s day better by acknowledging the wonderful thing that they did. Another way to share your gratitude with others is through volunteering. There are so many local charities and nonprofits that would welcome a helping hand. Offer your services to them. Giving your time, skills and expertise freely and selflessly with no expectation of receiving anything back in return is one of the most gratifying things you will ever experience.
6. Lastly, don’t make this a chore and just another thing to do on your already busy day. It’s a time for reflection and there really is no right or wrong way to do this. Practicing gratitude is a personal thing and each person will do it differently. The important thing to remember is that although life is hard, this is the best time to be alive. The world we live in is so beautiful, full of diversity and so much opportunity and we are ridiculously lucky to be living in it.
“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu