Keep a list of things you’re grateful for
As you already know, I love lists. As you saw in Step 1, taking stock of what you’re good at, what you value and what you fear can all help with getting to know yourself better. However, I’ve read several articles lately that talk about how happiness and contentment come from being grateful. For appreciating what we already have.
So, What Are You Grateful For?
Again, your job, family, friends, etc. will likely be written down first, fine fine….but what ELSE?
Think of the little things that make your day better. What is it that makes you do a happy dance around the kitchen? Or fist pump in your office and say YASSSSS this happened! Or simply say out loud “oh thank God”
What are those things?
For me, for example, Hot showers; Drinking a hot cup of tea (or a cool glass of wine) near my firepite Finding out I don’t have to do the laundry when I thought I did. Finding chocolate I didn’t know I had. The smell of incense burning after I take a shower (I habitually light one every day).
This may sound kind of ridiculous. But each of these things gives me a little boost; makes me smile and helps me relax in some way. When I pay attention to these little things, I give thanks for the fact that I have them in my life, that I have the money and the opportunity to incorporate such things into my daily routines.
How can you keep track of what you’re grateful for:
My cousin started me on this task of creating a list of things to be grateful for and every so often I’ll pull it out and add to it. In doing so, I also am able to go back and re-read some of what I already had jotted down. It’s a great way to boost yourself up and see how much positive you have going on in your life already.
Another way you can ensure that you focus on gratitude, no matter what, is to do it with a friend. In medical school, a friend and I would email each other each night with something positive that happened that day, or something positive we found. Sometimes it was big news, and other times we struggled and literally just wrote, “I loved my minty toothpaste!” We labeled these emails Happiness QHS. QHS is medical speak for “every evening”. If we ever missed an evening, we’d text or call each other to check in and ensure that it got done!
Use the Information
Once you start keeping track of all the things in life that you’re grateful for and know exactly what it is that makes you smile and give thanks, you can make an effort to ensure that you infuse these things into your life DAILY. Because why not? Why not give yourself a boost. Why not take a minute to take a deep breath, smell some incense and let go of tension.
Why not remind yourself that no matter what is happening, you still have a lot that is positive, good and happy.
Everyone’s list is different. But when you know what works for you, then make it work for you!
Being Grateful AND Empowered
In my mind, acknowledging all the positives, and knowing what it is that can give me that little boost I may need, helps me feel like I have control over my day. As I mentioned in Step 1, the definition of empowerment includes some element of control over one’s life.
By knowing what to do for yourself, you’re much more able, and likely, to actually DO it.
So push aside the negativity, and take a look at what you’ve got. Others may have more than you and you may not be exactly where you want to be, but say thanks for what you’ve accomplished thus far and appreciate yourself for all that you do.
Featured and pinnable image courtesy of Unsplash