5 Steps to Take to Find Gratitude and Change Your Life This Year
Gratitude had always come pretty naturally to me, but a few years ago I lost connection to that and started to slip down a path of negativity and soon months rolled by and I could not understand why my life had taken this turn. I started to feel affects in all aspects of my life and physically it was taking a toll.
I knew that things needed to change. I could not continue on this path. As someone who is extremely sensitive to the world around me, I had to rid my life of the dark cloud that was always one step behind me.
I felt like I needed to start recognizing the good in my life. Initially I was so in a routine of complaining, it was not easy to see all the blessings. So I decided I would write down one thing each day even if the thing seemed silly or not immediately connected to my daily life. From there everything changed and I gained new perspective on what mattered in my life, what brought joy and what was not really serving me and growing me.
Here are the steps I took
1. Keep a daily gratitude journal.
At the end of each day start by writing down just one thing you are grateful for from that day. In the beginning it might be something as simple as, the earth is still spinning or I woke up today. But I bet as the days pass it will be hard to be thankful for just one thing. Your list will start growing and growing, and becoming more and more personal.
This can be any journal, so long as you have enough space for 365 days. I love this #BOSS journal because it also ties in to the next step of finding a mantra.
2. Find a mantra.
Find something that connects to you and inspires you. Perhaps a goal you would like to accomplish. I felt I had lost my voice and confidence, and so my mantra dealt with reconnecting to that fiery spirit in me. Maybe your mantra is becoming the boss of your life, taking back the reigns and finding your new direction, or maybe it is taking hold of your anxiety and learning to manage it so that it does not take over your life. Whatever you goal or vision for your life is, find a short and sweet, easy to remember quote or saying or cluster of words that ignites that spark within you. And sometimes you have to fake it to make it, which brings us to our next step.
There is really something to faking it till you make it. So when you are feeling down or feel a lack of gratitude, just smile. Get used to smiling throughout the day! And the best thing... is sharing a smile with someone else! It is magical. Even if you don't know them! I practice smiling at strangers on the street daily.
There is actually a science to it. When you smile or laugh, your body receives a message that you are happy and thus responds accordingly. Want to learn more? Check out this article:
4. Practice breathing and letting go.
Slow it down, find a deep natural cycle of breath. Practice taking a minute each day in which you just close your eyes and focus on your inhale and exhale. You can even take this time to attach your mantra to your breath.
Taking deep full belly breaths, inhaling until you fill up every space and then holding for a pause at the top of your breath and then exhaling until you feel you have released every last little breath from your body and again pausing at the bottom of your breath.
Once you start regularly practicing this breath, your mantra and journaling you will find it easier to let go of things that are causing stress or not serving you. This could be as simple as a little arguments or material possessions, or what happened for me was letting go of certain friendships.
5. Assess your circle.
I started to realize what friendships and relationships were really growing me and were mutual and which friendships were not. I started to release relationships I was holding on to out of fear, and soon found that by letting go of my fear and these toxic relationships, I was creating space for much bigger experiences and relationships! I can't even begin to explain to you the miracles that started taking place! And I was ready for them after finding my base. I found myself, I found my voice, and I found out what I could let go of and what was important to hold on to. My life became rich and full of all of the things that were making me a better person, teaching me lessons, growing, nourishing, and caring. I started accomplishing huge goals in record time and creating a network of some of the most influential people.
You really only need to do step 1 to see drastic results, but practice all 5 and you will start growing and radically changing your life in ways you never really imagined.
3 years later and I know that these 5 steps keep me on track and make things happen! When life gets busy and I start to notice I am not appreciating people, things or life as much as I should be, I immediately get back to my little 5 step routine.
Let me know if you have tips or tricks on creating the world you live in! Or let me know if any of these help and what results you see!