Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gratitude Attitude

Life can be hard. This isn't news. But how often are we making our own life more difficult than it really needs to be? Do we really have it that rough? I used to be a stress junkie. My friends would joke that my life would make a fabulous soap opera but they weren't kidding. After years of wasting precious energy on superficial drama one day something significant happened - a real and actual problem came into my life. Actually it was more like a string of problemS - plural. But that turbulent time in my life taught me something that changed my world for the better. It taught me how to be grateful. What would you do if you found out today was your last day in this beautiful world?? What about your last week?? What things would you miss?? What would you have regretted not doing?? What would you want to be remembered for?? What would your legacy be?? What beautiful things or people or experiences are you the most grateful for?? It's easy to get caught up in the day to day hustle and drama of everyday life but how often do we stop during our day to savor a beautiful moment, tell someone they have made a difference or relish in all of the simple delights that envelope our lives?? Exercising regular gratitude will change your life. When you are grateful, you are at peace. Realizing what you are grateful for, and reminding yourself often, opens your eyes to happiness and experiences that would otherwise be unavailable to you if you were of a negative or stressed out mindset. Grateful people are kind people. Happy people. Successful people. Fulfilled people. Get your own gratitude state of mind by trying one of our fave techniques on for size.

1. Thank someone today who has made a difference in your life. No matter how big or small the difference, genuinely thanking someone who has touched your life FEELS GOOD. Sharing your gratitude is also contagious.

2. Relish in something beautiful. A sunset. A rain storm. The ocean. Your own garden. A tree swaying in the breeze. How often do we take for granted the natural beauty that is all around us?? Your childs smile. How beautiful and peaceful they look when they are sleeping. The easy twinkle in their eyes when they let out a raucous giggle. Even material things in your own home can bring on that grateful feeling. Twirl in your favorite dress. Sit back and admire a pretty room. Flip through a scrapbook or photo album. Got the warm fuzzies?? Good -  that's the point!!

3. Feel the love. Tell someone you love them - and mean it. Your husband. Your kids. Your cat. Your dog. Your neighbor. Whatever, as long as you're feeling it. Savor that feeling. Nothing in this life is guaranteed so when it comes to the people you love - let them know it!!

4. When you find yourself in a not so calming moment stop and ask yourself - what am I grateful for right NOW?? Remembering what you are grateful for in a moment of anguish, stress or pressure is a sure fire way to turn your mood around. What ONE thing, no matter how heartbroken/angry/frustrated you are, are you grateful for?? REFOCUS. Gratitude is like someone throwing you a life saver when you are lost at sea. Grab onto it for dear life and you shall find your way.

5. Remember that even struggles and hard times are something to be grateful for. If you have ever been through a really difficult time and come out on the other side of it you know what I am talking about. Those times in life that really knock you on your ass can teach you more about yourself and your level of inner strength than a lifetime at the gym. There is something beautiful that comes out of a personal struggle. Confidence, strength, grace and here's that word again - gratitude. Beautiful people do not just happen.They are MADE. And THAT is something to be thankful for.

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