quite possibly one of the most underrated practices even though it's gotten A LOT of press time lately. i say this because that’s true for me. i could use a damn wake up call sometimes to take a step back and realize what in my life i'm thankful for. i don’t know if it’s being in the city or social media or what, but i get in a funk or mood where i am definitely not grateful, or appreciative or realize how good i do have it. everyone has some struggle they’re going through and i’m not saying to compare your struggle to anyone else's, but instead realize your struggle and then take into account the other million things that you have to be grateful for.
i’m interested if anyone tries to practice gratitude first thing in the morning by writing things down that you’re thankful for? for me, i think (and i know) one reason this could be killer is because it's a major mood changer especially mornings where i know my day is jam packed. if I don’t have time to meditate i would like to at least have something to start my day off on the highest note possible. i've started to write down five things i'm thankful for every (eeek not every!) morning when I wake up. yes, i've forgotten or thought about it and then just blatantly not done it. i'm only human! BUT I do think it's a great way to start things off and really does put me in a good mood. NO i'm not perfect (surprised? same same) and i look at my phone before i do this. I KNOW IT'S NOT GOOD. i'm doing more to detach from my phone/emails/texts/social media until i've gone through my morning routine-- and at night an hour before my head hits the pillow.
back to practicing gratitude. i like it mostly because it's really such an easy thing to do and feel the benefits of in no time at all. am i a completely changed person and always motivated as hell? no. sorry i'm not going to be that person. i'm a realist and understand that if i want this to provide benefit i have to understand WHY i'm doing it. well, i'm doing it because it makes me smile. writing down that i'm thankful for my family for giving me the best advice, sean (my bf) for still loving me when i act crazy, thankful for the food i am able to make even with some stomach issue setbacks, thankful that i am learning in a job that is so new in the media world, thankful for my friends that despite being here there and everywhere they're by my side always. omg. am i getting emotional? YES YES I SURE AM. honestly i enjoy thinking about this stuff. the stuff that drives me, that keeps me going, that gets me out my comfortable-as-hell bed.
also, back to being more of a realist, i understand you have shit days. i have shit days. i am such a crier it's pretty unreal (alllllll about a shower cry). and i do think you need time to vent and get things off your chest and feel the stress or saddness or whatever negative feeling, but only for a hot minute. we can't let those negative feelings or emotions rule us. they're there to ground us so we can FEEL the shit and change it. with gratitude it's appreciating that we still get to feel all those things, good bad and ugly.
i mean a non life threatening example is that i miss my family so terribly much and being a plane ride away is really hard sometimes. but, i also realize that i'm incredibly fortunate to be in new york city, having incredible experiences with old and new friends, lucky to live with sean, and i am still ONLY a plane ride away from my family.
i'm not saying you have to spin every negative into a positive, but to start, try appreciating some aspect of those smaller struggles. because you're going to come out stronger on the other side.
so i'm challenging you to try it. doesn't need to be crazy strict and maybe you start by thinking about it. do try writing down a handful of things during the week when you wake up that you're immediately thankful for. i find it's good to be specific and makes you really think about the situation you're in RIGHT in the moment. all about that mindfulness amiright?!?!
i'll have a follow up thought about this because i've read some awesome articles recently that have gotten me super inspired about practicing gratitude.
oh, also thankful for you!! thanks for reading and i hope you got something, even small, out of this!!