Let’s take a moment to check in. What’s going on in your life right now? Are you very busy with work, your kids, your parents, your life? I’m guessing you are. Life pulls us each in multiple directions every day. In this post, I’m going to get personal. When I start to really feel overwhelmed with all the things going on in my life, I turn to yoga. It serves as a physical, mental, and emotional retreat for me. I don’t have to go anywhere. I just roll out my mat. Even if I just sit there and breathe. The reason I bring up yoga, is because becoming a yogi has taught me one of the most powerful lessons in this life: how to be grateful.
For years, I have experienced a lot of anxiety. There are plenty of things to worry about in life: finances, relationships, and changes to come. As my yoga practice develops, I am learning to shift my focus. By simply thinking or writing about the people and things that I am thankful for, I can do a mental 180. It really is powerful. When you practice gratitude, negativity and worry will diminish. In the book, The How to Happiness, the author defines gratitude as “a focus on the present moment, on appreciating your life as it is today and what has made it so”. The truth is that you control your thoughts, and when you chose to be thankful it can have such a positive impact on not only you, but on those around you. Gratitude allows us to savor the moment when life is good, but also to overcome the many obstacles that life throws our way.
So, my challenge for you is to spend some time each day to express gratitude. Try it for the next 7 days in a row, and note the differences in how you feel. Here are some ways that I like to do this:
- Before bed, write 3 things in my journal that I am thankful for
- Send a thank you card to someone who has positively impacted your life
- Go for a quiet walk, and spend time noticing how beautiful our world is
- When you listen to music, pause to appreciate how it makes you feel
- Before a meal, give thanks that you have the means to nourish your body
There are many, many more ways to do this. I hope that this challenge will help you as much as it has me. Please share any thoughts or feelings by leaving a comment!