Attitude of Gratitude
Written by: Chelsey Bird
Tis’ the season to start thinking about everything we have to be thankful for. I love seeing everyone post their #30daysofgratitude challenge.
A few things on my list are:
fuzzy warm blankets fresh from the dryer
laughter filled game nights with friends
Everything pumpkin spice!
While it’s wonderful to count our blessings during the holidays, staying grateful throughout the year is one of the most powerful tools we have to instantly create more joy in our lives. While there are countless ways that gratitude benefits us; we’re going to focus on six ways that practicing gratitude can have a positive impact.
Do me a favor me this week. Choose one of the gratitude challenges that I cover in this article and implement it into your daily routine. If you’re feeling bold, try a new one each day this week. Take note of how you feel as you go throughout your day with a heart of gratitude. You just might find that your perception of the world becomes a little different...in a really great way!
Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. A simple “thank you” or expression of admiration goes a long way in building connections. Showing appreciation to others creates opportunities for new friendships, builds positive energy and trust.
GRATITUDE CHALLENGE: By recognizing those who support you in your daily life, you’ll find many opportunities for gratitude and connection with others. Today, call or text five different people to thank them for the role they play in your life and let them know how much you appreciate them.
Gratitude improves physical health. We only get one body in this lifetime and it is what carries us to experience all the great adventures and activities this world has to offer. When we are grateful for our body and good health, we are more likely to take care of our body by eating healthy, exercising and resting when needed.
GRATITUDE CHALLENGE: Your body is working hard to move you through your day. Each motion it takes is a gift to you and we often take it for granted. Take a look at one part of your body you don’t normally pay attention to, such as your hands, feet, nose or ears. Name 5 things it did for for you today and take a moment to be grateful for what it has given you.
Gratitude improves psychological health. Being grateful reduces toxic emotions such as jealousy, depression, anger and regret. Tony Robbins calls his gratitude practice the “Highway to Happiness”. He says, “You can’t be grateful and fearful simultaneously. Nor can you be grateful and angry.” Gratitude is unique because it overpowers negative emotions and trains our brain to notice more things we can be grateful for.
GRATITUDE CHALLENGE: Start your day by writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for. I like to use this practice as intention setting for my day. I write down things that I hope to achieve or am working on and then live as though they are already happening in my life. It might sound crazy...but trust me, it works! I notice that my energy is better, motivation levels are higher and I’m in an all around better mood!
Gratitude enhances empathy, reduces aggression and increases mental strength. Story time! My friend, Karli, was engaged to be married to the most wonderful man she could imagine. One month before the wedding; her fiance, Chase, called off the engagement and within 6 months he had married another woman. Karli was heartbroken, angry, and after two years of dating duds, felt she’d never find love again. Then one day she met Matt, who was even more handsome, more loving and more of a perfect fit for her than her former fiance had been! One week before her marriage to Matt, she ran into Chase at the grocery store. And with a sincere heart she was able to express gratitude to him. Because had it not been for him making the decision to break off their engagement, she never would have found the man she now loved.
Every challenge has a gift inside of it, even if it’s not what we expected. We can turn disappointments around by seeing what was intended or by finding the opportunities that were created as a result of that experience. We may not be able to change what happened; but we can choose to find the goodness that comes from it. Practicing gratitude in the midst of trials fosters resilience, patience and mental toughness.
GRATITUDE CHALLENGE: Bring to mind a time when someone else’s actions frustrated you or made you feel resentful. Now, consider all the blessings that have come because of the way that situation turned out. Did you have the opportunity to solve a problem? Did a different opportunity open up to you? Or did you meet someone that has now played a significant role in your life? There is always a blessing in the lesson!
Grateful people sleep better. Do you ever feel wired and tired? Sometimes I keep myself up at night going through the list of things I need to get, change or check off my to-do list. This can create stress, anxiety and a range of other emotions. By being grateful for the things happening in life right this very moment, we can reduce our stress levels and create more feelings of peace.
GRATITUDE CHALLENGE: Before bed, write down a list of 3-5 great things you experienced today. According to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, those who keep a gratitude journal report sleeping better and longer.
Gratitude improves self-esteem. These days it’s so easy to compare ourselves to the picture perfect people we see on social media. But when we are grateful for our unique gifts, talents and passions; we can begin to recognize that we are thebomb.com! As we celebrate our strengths, our confidence grows and helps us progress in other areas of life.
GRATITUDE CHALLENGE: Did you know that in order to recognize a good quality in someone else, you must first embody that quality yourself? That means when you see someone as powerful, kind or beautiful you are recognizing that you have that trait within you as well. Your challenge is to compliment as many people as you can in one day. And each time you give someone a compliment, notice how YOU embody that quality too. And if you don’t quite feel like you have that quality yet, recognize that you have the potential to achieve it. Go for it!
The best part about gratitude is that it only takes a little bit of time and effort to create big results.
Which challenges are you going to take on this week? I’m so excited to hear about your gratitude adventures and the benefits that come from them!