Today’s post is a gratitude-themed article written by yours truly in collaboration with Elina Passant from JustSoElina, a blog that focuses on lifestyle & well-being. Elina and I both find gratitude to be this mindful practice that constantly helps us in our daily endeavors, and thought it would be great to share with you our takes on it. You may find and read her own post here: How I Make Gratitude a Part of My Daily Life ft. Chia Samson.
Believe it or not, lately I’ve been contemplating a lot about life—in a general sense that is. I often find myself thinking: What is it that feeds my soul? What powers me through my day-to-day situation? What is it that influences the big picture in my life as of the current? When I first started asking myself these questions, I found it quite difficult to come up with an answer. Mainly because for the most part of my post-high school graduation a.k.a. college, I’ve been cultivating stress more than joy. I would always look at the negative in a literal manner, never really trying to find the silver lining.
However, a few months ago, probably February, I was re-organizing my shelves and found a book I bought when I was in my first year of high school: The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha. It highlights the awesome, little things in life to appreciate like popping bubble wraps and the feeling of simply curling up under a blanket. Reading it definitely added perspective in my daily routine and I began appreciating almost all of the little things that come my way. Like when the train pulls up exactly as I arrive on the platform, or when a stranger holds the door open for me and that faint smile I get from them right after I say thanks—small things like that.
Slowly, I’m learning that possessing the attitude of gratitude doesn’t mean that everything in your life has to be perfect for you to appreciate what you have—or what you are, and what you do in this life. It’s choosing to stay positive despite the stress of it all, and focusing on the good things and simply being thankful for it. With that said, I wanted to share with you today the top 3 things I’ve learned so far in cultivating the gratitude attitude:
1 | GRATITUDE IS A CONSTANT PRACTICE.
But honestly, let’s be real, sometimes the bad days hit really hard and all we want to do is sink in bed and hide from everyone and just take a break. That’s okay, sometimes it’s going to be hard to see through the stress because after all, we’re just human. It’s all about the getting-back-up-again attitude and re-meditating gratitude back in to your mindset. Really, it’s not that easy. Just like any new habit/routine you might be trying to internalize, the practice of gratitude works the same way. You may fall out of it once in a while but as long as your mind’s all set to let it be part of your mindful practice, you’ll always find a way back into it. And that’s all that matters.
2 | GRATITUDE OPENS YOUR MIND AND MAKES YOU MENTALLY STRONGER.
I started my gratitude journal a couple of months back. Every day, I make it a point to reflect and list down three things that I’m grateful for. Practicing this habit as part of my night routine made me realize that gratitude allows you to understand that things which are completely out of our control must be let go. It’s like saying, Okay, it’s been a bad day, but thanks anyway. It enables us to channel our energy on things that we can actually change and simply let go of the things we can’t. Now, that’s mental strength.
3 | GRATITUDE IS A CHOICE.
Gratitude is simply a matter of choice and of discipline. And things to be grateful for are literally just all around us, if you choose to look around, appreciate these things, and be thankful. If you’re waking up in the morning knowing that you have another day to live, be thankful. If you’re sitting down to breakfast, be thankful. If you’re sitting down to lunch, be thankful. If you’re sitting down to dinner, be thankful. If you get home safely, be thankful. If you’re able to get to bed in peace at night, be thankful. When you permit this mindset in the kind of lifestyle you’re living, you’ll be surprised at how things’ll start to change for you.
To wrap things up, here’s a little tip from Elina:
SWITCH OFF. We live in such a fast paced world that is heavily reliant on social media and technology. It’s so easy to get caught up in what’s going on in the world that you forget to take notice of what’s truly going on in your own little world. Let me ask you when was the last time you went for a walk, ate a meal or worked on a project/hobby without a movie, TV show, podcast, YouTube video or music playing in the background? I know the first time I asked myself this it took me a while to think of the last time, which was pretty scary. When we are so caught up in everyone else’s lives, everything they are doing/achieving, and their thoughts, we forget about our own and just end up comparing our lives to others. I now make a conservative effort to do at least switch off once a day, I’ve been doing this recently when we take our dogs for a walk along the beach each night. There truly is nothing better than sitting on the beach and just watching the waves roll in, that in itself is something I am very grateful to get to do. I take so much more notice to all the little things around me like the birds singing, the bush area we go through to get there, it truly does feel more magical when I’m just alone with my thoughts. Everything feels more special when you don’t have background noise cutting off some of your senses.
Again, make sure to check out Elina’s post right here: How I Make Gratitude a Part of My Daily Life ft. Chia Samson. You may also catch her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
What are you grateful for today? 🙂