For the longest time, I heard about gratitude and I thought I understood what it was to be grateful. But not once did I sit with it. Not once, did I take 5 minutes out of my day and think about all of the things going on in my life and focus on what awesome things I really do have.
After many dark nights and even darker mornings, I finally decided to stop my every day page turning. I decided to go back and reflect on the why and how I got to where I was and slowly read what chapter I currently was on.
Just then did I finally realize, my book only started. My, Choose Your Own Adventure, was merely just getting to the good part.
But what page do I jump to next?
Here is where Gratitude makes a huge appearance and then, is when my story really felt clear.
How to Sit with Gratitude
1.Journaling – Write, write and write! You’ll read this one almost everywhere. It sounds redundant, but believe me, its the most honest way of understanding your emotions and reflecting on where you were the time you wrote it.
Partly why this site started, was due to my journaling. After MANY days of writing and lots of reflecting. Reading back on what I wrote, even a few days ago, made me appreciate the small or even something substantial growth I achieved. I would have never remembered that feeling I had when I was feeling hurt, sad and lonely, and realized how great I can feel not far after.
We tend to forget how amazing we are, and how powerful we can be. We forget to acknowledge our struggles, for they make us stronger. We forget to reflect on our daily needs, to keep us moving forward. And we forget to appreciate the windy path that leads us to today.
So don’t just write about what your “Grateful” for. Write about your true feelings, physically and mentally. Then, every 2 weeks, open up a random page and read it. You’ll be amazed how much you’ve adapted without even realizing it.
2. Write powerful sayings, words or phrases down. Put these on a bulletin, chalk board, fridge or even download an app to remind yourself. I absolutely love My Affirmations: Live Positive App! You can customize, set, organize and edit. This is a great way when you have that motivation, to dive into the app and put in all of the energy you need, to help push you the days you can’t. Think of it like meal prep for the mind.
3. Be in the moment. I am 100% guilty of not being in the moment. I would always strive for more in every situation I did. Whether it be achieving a goal of mine, hanging out with friends or even travelling. I always felt like the current state could get even better. I never felt fully satisfied. It wasn’t until I started taking a second, looked around, did a body scan of my sensations, feelings and emotional state, that I started to fully accept that I was in that moment of achievement. This was great enough for me.
4.Change your perspective! With social media and tv, we aim to get to that world of perfection that is nearly impossible to get to. We start to filter our mind to believe that things can be always better. Once we start focusing on this, we start comparing. comparing leads to focusing on the negative, which ends up training our mind to never see the true picture.
Think of this, as that Instagram filter you used, because your 2 days before your period and you had an acne break out. You know that filter really does nothing for you, but you see everyone else using it and its fine for them to, so why not you.
Another guilty as charged case. Once I start this path, I find myself comparing, which leads to judgment, which leads to self deprecation. Things I can live without, but things I’ve chosen not to, and why?
5. Reach out and share your true feelings. For many people this is the hardest one. We worry so much about how people will react and what they will say. We worry they won’t feel the same, or believe our emotions are true.
But why hold back your own thoughts and feelings, only to make someone else’s comfort your priority. Being true to who you are and how you feel, will shine brighter than any half assed remark. So be bold, be honest and just be you!
Besides the million other ways to be grateful, in the end, you only know how things make you feel. So start lifting yourself up instead of kicking yourself while you’re down.