It's good to be and feel thankful on a daily basis. Although I've always been thankful for things, people, and experiences, I learned with a recent shift that I was going about this whole "thankful" thing the wrong way.
THANKFUL VS. GRATEFUL
There is a difference between being thankful and being grateful. Gratitude is more than feeling thankful, it is a deeper appreciation. It's the moments, events, and "things" that give you goosebumps and send chills through your entire body. This deep appreciation offers a feeling of lasting positivity in your mind and actions.
So, how does one feel grateful? Merriam-Webster defines gratitude as the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness. In essence, you'll feel grateful when you receive and reciprocate. It's necessary to practice gratitude in order to feel it. Below are three reasons to incorporate a gratitude practice in your day:
1. More Equals More
When you have a mindset full of gratitude, you will be granted more. It isn't until we are fully grateful for what we have that we'll be granted more. Prosperity is like the law of inertia when in motion it stays in motion.
2. A Positive Mindset
When you choose to focus on the good on a consistent basis, your days will be brighter. Your bucket will feel full. Your abundance thermometer will radiate. This mindset becomes especially important when you are faced with a challenge.
3. Improved Relationships
Gratitude makes us more kind, more trustworthy, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, this helps us make quality friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve business connections.
As an added benefit of practicing gratitude on the daily, studies have proven you can experience better sleep, healthier living, and a boost in your career to name a few. This act helps you achieve your goals and so much more. Think of it as a ripple effect. When you are fully grateful, you are continually looking at the positive side of things. Positivity is contagious.
I can't stress how important your mindset plays into all of this. When your mindset is right, things unfold. You'll experience all the good. It's going to require some intentional action in order to recognize where and how to get your mind in the right space. How? I thought you'd ask and I have some tips to get you there. You'll need two things:
1. A notebook or journal
This doesn't need to be anything fancy. I tend to be drawn to journals with quotes on the cover. The key is for you to do you. Don't over think or complicate this - it's paper.
2. A time during the day where you will document your gratitude
I'd recommend choosing a consistent time every day. I personally like to wake up five minutes early and write as soon as the alarm chimes. It helps get my mind where I need and want it to be before a million things start racing, consuming, and taking over the day.
An important reminder: consistent, daily action is key. As women, we put so much pressure on ourselves to define what makes or breaks us as a successful business woman. Let me share a secret: you define it. There are no limits aside from the ones you set. Ladies, I know how easy it is to stay comfortable and content. Breakthroughs and expansion happen when you choose to break the mold, try new things, and step up to the plate when you'd rather sit and watch from the sidelines. And that's where the good stuff is.
BREAK THE CYCLE
When my clients and friends start their gratitude practice, I often hear them say “I keep writing the same three things” down on my list. These include: home, kids, and husband/signifigant other. While these are wonderful and important in their own ways, I want to challenge you to be selfish. Yes, ladies, I'm giving you permission to take this time for you and think beyond these comfortable top three.
My suggestion is to write a minimum of 10 things you are grateful for. When you notice your gratitude list becoming repetitive, think of your previous day, what's ahead, gives you anxiety or makes you excited. Then take these things and get specific. Roll up your sleeves and get to the heart of what makes you appreciate each of those things.
Here are a few of my gratitude examples from this week:
• The birds singing this morning. I find it so peaceful.
• Exercise. I am able to workout, and I am feeling stronger because of this. I have more confidence. It feels good to move my body.
• The ability to travel and see the world. It gives me so many great experiences.
• Healthy Food. My body is able to function how it is meant to. Food = fuel.
• My job. It helps provide for my family, pays for our home, puts food on our table, and so much more.
• Good friends. They know how to make me laugh!
When you've finished writing down your list, take a moment to re-read them. Then, recite them out loud. Yes, get raw and vulnerable. Take a moment to feel what you wrote. Put the emotion behind the words, this will help take your gratitude to the next level.
If there is one big lesson I have learned in life, it's that I'm the creator of my own happiness. A daily gratitude practice has helped in this part of my journey. My wish for you is to be confident, trust yourself, and take action in your gratitude practice. There are countless blessings on the other side of this activity waiting for you to discover. Embrace them with confidence!
I have created a 30 day Gratitude Challenge for you to get consistent and to get creative! Send a email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the Gratitude Challenge to be sent to you!