With all that’s happening in the world right now, I am even more aware of the importance of taking care of my health. I feel strongly that in order to make a difference and care for others, I must first make sure I am at my best so I don’t wear myself down in the process. This includes physical health, making sure I drink enough water and get enough exercise, and mental/emotional health, making sure I keep my stress in check (if possible!) and maybe even unplugging from social media for a while if necessary.
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but mindset and how I look at my life and the world is something that is so important to me, and in changing the way you think I believe you can change your life. One thing that has made a huge difference in helping me adjust my mentality? Gratitude.
A lot of people talk about gratitude practices these days, but for now I’m going to keep it simple and describe three simple ways it has affected me and the way I view things.
1. It puts my life into perspective. This is beneficial in several ways, the first being that it forces me to stop feeling sorry for myself and start caring more about other people. I’m not saying that I want to make myself feel guilty for being negative (we all have bad days sometimes!), but in those moments even just thinking of a few things I’m thankful for immediately makes me feel a little better about my life, and ultimately allows me to be more open to helping others and doing what needs to be done.
2. It puts me in a naturally positive mindset. By starting with gratitude for what I have rather than focusing on what I don’t have, it leaves me in an already-optimistic way of thinking, therefore helping to set myself up for success. Before you roll your eyes, I’m not saying everyone has to be happy-go-lucky, skip-through-fields-of-flowers chasing butterflies kind of person. If you are, kudos to you, but for most of us there are definitely times when it’s hard to see the bright side. However, if I start off my day by thinking of the things I’m grateful for, I’m basically already beginning with a glass-half-full attitude, which makes me feel more positive and prepared for the world.
3. It makes me more mindful of the world around me. Mindfulness is something that many of us unfortunately don’t think about, and therefore we go through life not really noticing the details. As a result, there is so much that passes us by! Beginning with gratitude causes me to pause and actually consider all the things in my life, from the big things that keep me going (love, family, a roof over my head) to the smallest details I can observe around me (the scented candle on my desk, having enough time to read a book, my morning coffee just the right temperature). From big to small, the details make a difference.
I want to emphasize my belief that the simple act of starting to think about gratitude and all that I have has changed my life. By being more thankful, open, and optimistic, I have allowed more opportunities into my life and learned so much about others and the world around me.
In the past year I have also implemented a daily practice into my morning routine, which includes a short gratitude and mindfulness practice. If you would like to know more about my simple process, I encourage you to read Start With Gratitude, End With Empowerment! (I promise it doesn’t take very long).
Gratitude and implementing a daily practice has definitely had an impact on me, and I hope it can have positive effects on your life as well. If you’ve had a positive experience with gratitude and/or changing your mindset, I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below and let me know how it’s impacted you.
Thanks for reading!