It’s summer! Are you dreaming of when life was simple and the only thing you needed to do during summer was enjoy the sun? As adults, we need to balance many, many responsibilities. However, that does NOT mean that you cannot have joy in your life.
One simple way to invite more joy or positive vibes in your life is by cultivating GRATITUDE in your life! …if you’ve just rolled your eyes and checked out…hold on. Gratitude can take as little as one minute to practice daily and research has found it has innumerable benefits including improved mood, increased energy, stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, improved sleep and helps people be more forgiving and compassionate.
I understand that when you are feeling depressed, exhausted and busy-busy-busy, adding one more thing to your to-do list is not ideal. Yet, by changing your perspective through gratitude, you can shift the scale from “Everything is terrible” to “I can get through today”. Eventually through a gratitude practice, you can completely transform your perspective on yourself, your dreams, and your life!
So...what are 3 things you’re grateful for right now? They can be big, they can be small, the thought just needs to be authentic and true! Right now, I am grateful for my morning coffee, the great yoga class I just took this morning with my sister, and my friends supporting my ideas, no matter how crazy.
There are MANY ways you can practice gratitude daily:
First Thought in the Morning
Think: What am I truly grateful for in this moment? On this day? And list 3-10 meaningful gratitudes in your mind.
This is two-fold. #1: You begin your day thinking positively, of what you enjoy, rather than beginning the day feeling behind or dreading the day. #2 You have completed your gratitude practice within seconds!
Each day write down 3-10 gratitudes (or more if it sparks your fancy!)
Use gratitude as your focus or intention in your meditation, mindfulness or yoga practice. Cultivate joy, gratitude and appreciation as you breathe. When you become distracted, return your focus to your breathing and your intention of gratitude.
Throughout the Day
If you notice yourself judging yourself or others, becoming overwhelmed, or just having a bad day, turn your attention to what is going well in your life and what you are truly grateful for. Start small. It will feel more natural the more practice you have.
Notice your environment. We rarely look up from our smart phones these days. So look up, smell the roses, feel the sun on your skin, appreciate the miracles around you!
Bring Gratitude into your Relationships
Let the people around you know that you appreciate them and the things they do. Thank your coworker for help on a project. Let your partner know that you appreciate them. Send a friend a text with gratitude for who they are and how they improve your life.
There are many other ways to practice gratitude in your life! Cultivate gratitude in ways that make sense for you in your life, unapologetically.
Note of Advice: Choose gratitudes that you truly appreciate in the moment. Avoid ones that you think you “should” be grateful for. Examples of these might be : a place to live, being alive, having food & water. These are of course wonderful things to have and appreciate, however, it’s about the feeling behind the gratitude. If it feels authentic and truthful, use it!