Last week I told you about how gratitude opened up the door for me to live my dreams. Essentially, more gratitude equals more joy. But where does one begin?
You may be going through a rough patch, an illness, or even a time of hardship. You may be feeling like your world is crashing down and you have nothing to be thankful for. You may be moving through a time of great anxiety and you just can’t seem to grasp onto anything that feels even remotely good. Being grateful or feeling joy might feel close to impossible. I’ve been there myself, and I know how it feels to come out on the other side.
Here’s the good news…there are small steps you can take which can lead you to a place of more gratitude and thus, more joy. These steps are in order of importance, so if you implement them, be sure to start with number one.
1- Start and end your day by praising yourself. First thing in the morning, look at yourself in the mirror and consciously acknowledge your strengths. Think about your accomplishments and how proud you are…and say it out loud! Pick your favorite feature about yourself and tell yourself how attractive you are. Or simply use a general statement such as, “Wow. I’m pretty awesome.” This may seem silly at first. But we are actually training our brain to think more positive thoughts.
The keys to this are: to say it out loud, and to practice this regularly.
2- Once you have been praising yourself regularly for a while, you will wake up one day feeling noticeably better, more joyful, and more vibrant. You’ll feel a sort of subtle shift happen. This will open up so many possibilities for you to feel joy and to notice more great things in your life. So step two is: praise the people and things around you.
When you go to work, look around and take a mental note of what you like about your job. It could be as simple as the coffee, or as big as the money. Whatever it is, notice it and consciously acknowledge its greatness. Say to yourself, “This coffee is pretty tasty.” Or, in the case of money something like, “It’s pretty cool I get a paycheck every couple of weeks.” When you get home, look around and notice the things you enjoy about your life and acknowledge them. An example would be, “I can’t wait to eat dinner tonight. It’s going to be so delicious.” Or, “I never noticed how comfortable my couch is. Cool!”
The keys to this are: making a conscious mental note (writing it down is even better if you want to go deeper), and doing this at least three times a day.
3- Ok, so it’s been a few weeks, you’ve been acknowledging your strengths, you’ve been noticing some really great stuff around you, and you begin to notice how much better you feel. WOW. This stuff really works!
The next step to more appreciation is: Write three things you are grateful for in your journal or notebook every night before you go to sleep. This puts you in a good place as your body prepares for slumber. In other words, let’s set our brain to the right dial before turning out the lights! The likelihood of waking up in a good mood is exponentially higher when you end your day with gratitude.
The keys to this are: you must write down THREE things, and be consistent.
If you follow the above steps in that exact order, you should really start to gain some momentum. And when you start feeling good, be sure to keep going and don’t give up!
Questions about gratitude practice? I welcome all! Find me on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/amclaughlin.savvynaturopath
Or Twitter @savvynaturopath
In joy and gratitude,