Who isn’t stressed out these days?
Everyone is rushing around juggling jobs, personal commitments, and family responsibilities like crazy. This leaves us very little time to appreciate the good things we have in life which, when we stop to think about it, we really do have a lot to be grateful for. We are just mostly too busy to stop and acknowledge it. Actually, now that you read this, when was the last time you thought about what you have to be grateful for? It’s probably been too long. If you face each day with a mindset of gratitude, science tells us that you may feel happier, feel a greater sense of ease, sleep better, and even react differently to stressful situations. Yet, so many of us spend our time in a state of busyness or a state of complaining rather than appreciating.
Today is the day that you can begin to change this. From this point in time on, step into an attitude of gratitude and begin to take a few minutes each day to be grateful for something or for someone. Now, this does not have to take a lot of time. This can be a very simple practice of focusing on things each morning that you are grateful for. It can be as simple as a good cup of coffee in the morning, or your comfy bed you get to sleep in every night, or the clean drinking water that easily comes out of your facet every day. You get my point. Look around you, there are so many things to express gratitude for.
By focusing on something positive, you will find that you feel the weight being lifted. You may feel less stressed and even more easeful in your life. A good way to practice this gratitude is by writing in a daily journal. You can begin by writing three things that you are grateful for. Then expand your list when you are feeling inspired. Intentionally looking for the positive can help you rewrite your brain’s negative bias. When you have mastered that morning routine, you can end your day with the same practice and maybe even writing down three things that happened during the day that you were grateful for. This allows you to focus on the positive thoughts that happened before you close your eyes for the night.
Remember, it’s a shift in perspective. Instead of worrying about all those things you didn’t get accomplished during the day, focus on those that you did get done. If you answered all of your emails, then appreciate this. If you finally got that project complete at work, be grateful. If you made a great presentation, celebrate that victory. Don’t worry that you still have tons of things left on your to-do list. Just work on getting those things done bit by bit.
You can apply the same types of tactics at home too. Don’t rush home thinking about all the chores that are waiting for you. Go home with the thought of looking forward to sitting down with your family and eating dinner together. Be grateful for the time that you can enjoy together now. Remember your kids will grow up fast, before you know it, they will be packing for college. Spend time with them while you can. Dealing with high levels of stress is not healthy for you, or for your family. Stress can easily rub off on all the members of your family. You can even practice the attitude of gratitude with your family by asking each of them to share something that they are grateful for, or what was something joyful that happened during their day. Cultivate those feelings all around you.
When you do practice gratitude consistently, you will find that your mood changes. It will be easier to think positive thoughts more often than you think about negative things. This means that you are learning how to be grateful for what you already have. Gratitude can unlock the fullness of life.