Do you ever have to remind yourself to count your blessings? Or to give thanks for the little things?
Just on Thanksgiving Day? Yeah, that used to be me too, I feel that!
As I write this, it's June. June is my favorite month of the year.
It's warm outside, the flowers are in bloom, school's out (married to a teacher over here!), the pool is open, the birds are my morning alarm clock, and both my husband and I celebrate our birthdays….there's a LOT to be grateful for!
But it wasn't long ago that the never-ending pursuit of success, achievements, and material possessions were the hamster wheel I’d willingly jump onto each day.
I would look around at what everyone else had, what my competitors were doing (business competitors, but let's be honest, personal ones too) and I'd senselessly run myself into exhaustion trying to match social media perfection.
I was sad, mad, and definitely did not appreciate ANY of the little things.
“who me? nah, that's a fluke. I have to work harder…”
I found myself longing for more, believing that acquiring the next big thing would bring me happiness and fulfillment. But it was all a lie and I burned out quick. (hop on over to this blog post if you want to read more about my journey)
Amidst the constant striving, I overlooked one of the most powerful sources of contentment and joy:
I’ve since become quite the minimalist (in striving, not necessarily in material objects - although I've made efforts here too - just don’t ask about my Wedgwood collection!) and I’ve found that one of the biggest contributors to my overall sense of calm is having a grateful heart.
I won't pretend I'm the one who discovered the scientific benefits of thankfulness, but I will share practical ways to incorporate gratitude into your own life, just as I did when I finally stepped off that spinning wheel:
Shift your perspective: Instead of focusing on what's lacking in our lives, we can choose to recognize and appreciate the abundance that already exists. Take a moment each day to reflect on the positive aspects of your life, whether it's your health, relationships, personal achievements, or even the beauty of nature. By consciously redirecting our attention to the blessings we have, we create space for gratitude to thrive.
Keep a Gratitude Journal: Set aside a few minutes each day to jot down 1-3 things you're grateful for. They can be as simple as a warm cup of coffee in the morning, a supportive friend, or a beautiful sunset. Writing them down helps solidify these positive experiences in our minds and enables us to revisit them whenever we need a reminder of life's goodness. I of course do this in my Clear Mind Journal and I try to make them different each day, otherwise I might worry I have a serious problem with coffee!
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment, observing our thoughts and feelings without judgment. By cultivating mindfulness, we become more attuned to the beauty and wonder that surrounds us daily. Whether it's savoring the taste of a delicious meal, feeling the warmth of the sun on our skin, or relishing a quiet moment of solitude, being mindful helps us appreciate the present moment and instills a sense of gratitude for the richness of life.
Express appreciation: Take the time to show appreciation for the people in your life who bring you joy, love, and support. Write a heartfelt thank-you note, send a kind message, or simply express your gratitude face-to-face. By acknowledging the impact others have on our lives, we not only strengthen our relationships but also create a ripple effect of positivity and gratitude.
Find beauty in challenges: Embracing setbacks as opportunities for personal development and resilience shifts our perspective and allows us to see the silver linings even in difficult times. By reframing our experiences and seeking the valuable lessons they hold, we cultivate gratitude for the strength and wisdom gained along the way.
Just like a seed, gratitude when nurtured, can grow and flourish, transforming our perception of the world and allowing us to find contentment in the every day.
What are you thankful for today?
Grateful for you,