Last week’s restored challenge was to write down, every day, 3 things I’m grateful for. I issued this challenge for 2 reasons: because there’s power in writing down your words and it forces me to acknowledge the good in my life. Every day, I carry a journal with me which holds my to-do list for the week. That little book provides my direction and drives all of my actions during the day. It’s something about writing in the journal that makes things official for me. I'm much more likely to pay attention to what's written there. Also, forcing myself to write down things I’m grateful for, automatically put me in the mind to look for the positive in situations around me. I tended to write my list at night. Because I had to figure out what I was grateful for, I had to either the ignore the disappointments of the day or see the bright side in the negative things that occurred. It helped to distract me from dwelling on the negative and help me to end the day on a positive note.
This challenge was challenging for a reason-I found that I’m often tempted to complain or stress about what’s not going right. There were days where I struggled to come up with 3 things, which I think is horrible! I tend to stay focused on the crisis of the moment that I resist the urge to focus on what’s going right. Below are 7 tangible things you can do to stay grateful:
Before you go to sleep each night, spend 5 minutes in complete silence. It’s important to block out the noise around you that would distract you from appreciating your current state. Feelings of jealousy, inadequacy, and insecurity can creep in and make you feel like you’re not worthy. Silence helps you focus and appreciate the current moment.
Every day, speak an affirmation to yourself to remind yourself that you are a good person. You can say, “I am kind”, “I am beautiful”, “I can achieve the challenge before me”. We often fall into pity parties that blind us from appreciating what we have. Resist the urge to beat yourself up and stay positive.
Value your loved ones
Regularly tell a loved one in your life how much you appreciate them and why. Relationships should be mutual. When you nurture those closest to you, you will find that they will respond in a similar way.
Meditate on the good
At least 1 day a week, force yourself to ignore or suppress any negative thought for the entire day. We have a tendency to dwell on the negative: the things that stress us out, the things that stir up anger, or the things that make us feel inadequate. If you force yourself to only dwell on the positive, imagine how differently your perspective will be!
When you look upon another person’s situation with compassion, it helps you examine yourself and appreciate what you have. There’s always someone who is worse off than you, but you can also use that opportunity for you to be a blessing to that person. Doing good for others naturally makes us feel good and not worry so much about our own shortcomings.
Write it down
Keep a journal that lists why you’re grateful. I think a journal is one of the best ideas ever! Writing things down make your thoughts or your plans intentional. Having a journal will be a constant reminder that you have something in life to appreciate.
Every single day, repeat at least one thing you are grateful for. You’re not always going to feel grateful. Sometimes you will look around and repeat the dreaded question, “why, me?” That “why” can drag you down into a spiral of depression. Instead, make a conscious effort to not go in that direction.
- August 17, 2015
- Tiffany A