Hello lovely people! Questions for you…
How do you end your day?
Do you ever notice or praise yourself for your daily achievements?
Do you ever sit down (like really sit down and actually think and write down) and give gratitude or thanks?
Sometimes? No? Never?
Me neither, until about 6 months ago.
My mentor and trainer Sally Canning introduced me to gratitude at the start of 2014 and it was ace… I’d never even heard of the concept at that point and I found it facinating to learn about how the body reacts when we feel grateful and all the benefits which come from this emotion. I came accross am amazing transcript of a speach by R. L. Huntington which quotes:
“Dr. Emmons and his colleagues found scientific proof that people who practice gratitude through activities such as keeping a gratitude journal are more loving, forgiving, and optimistic about the future. They exercise more frequently, report fewer illnesses, and generally feel better about their lives.”
You can read the full transcript here: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/ray-l-huntington_a-grateful-heart/
So, because of those reasons and other influences in my life, and with a need to be more positive, (see why in this blog) I started a full gratitude journal at the start of the 2015. (Bit late on the uptake really! Before this I used to write them in my phone, or on scraps of paper, haphazardly and sporadically)
Dedicating a day to a page of my gorgous journal which I keep by my bed. It’s been amazing, helping me keep positive, reminding me to notice and realise the little things in life that I’m grateful for … EACH day! (Even when I really don’t feel like it!)
I even notice things during my day and make a mental note to write them down … this makes me thankful in that moment, making me more mindful, more present in my life – there and then. Being thankful for the little things lifts your spirits and it’s been proven to reduce stress, worry and anxiety. Please read the transcript I reference above!
At this point, I have to share this quote which I adore from Kung Fu Panda. I was reminded of it when I completed my Art of Living Happiness Programme in January 2015. (Thank you Ravi!)
“You are too concerned about what was and what will be. The past is history, the future is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”
~ Oogway, the wise old monkey.
I also recently worked with a lovely young lady who has been on a transformational journey of her own. After suffering massive panic attacks and coming close to serious depression following traumatic events beyond her control, she now stands on the edge of her future. She’s needed a lot of support and help, however she seems to have embraced every possible suggestion and wholeheartedly committed to her own journey to get herself better.
One thing that she attributes to helping her is what she calls a mood diary.
Each day she would reflect briefly her main challenges and how they made her feel. She notes any big shifts in behaviour and any problems. She also then makes a point of listing a (or a few) positives. Things that day that she achieved, that she was proud of. Similar to me; things she was grateful for.
The young lady showed me her mood diary and it was amazing to see her development tracked out on paper. It’s so inspiring.
Are you stuck in a crappy or negative place? Or starting to suffer with feelings of anxiety, worry, painic?
I challenge, encourage, ask you to:
~ Journal (just write out your thoughts) or keep a mood diary or simply just to write a list of 3-5 things you’re grateful for each day.
~ Use “thank you” more in your vocabulary. Does someone mean a lot to you, but you don’t often show it? Say it, tell them. Thank them.
~ Can’t face speaking face to face? Get some funky post it’s (cos for me it’s all about stationery!) And leave little thank you notes all round the house, around the office or even in the supermarket, for your loved ones or strangers to find.
Commit to doing just one thing differently for a month, 30 days, and see the effects….
I can’t recommend it highly enough. Just spending 5 mins giving thanks or praising yourself each evening is transformational. (And of course… it’s a perfect excuse to get new pens and a pretty pad!)
*Did I mention I LOVE stationery!?
Loads of love and light 🙂