How Gratitude Can Keep Us GoingFeb 01, 2021
Be grateful. It’s something so simple, yet it gets easily overlooked, especially when difficult times hit. The “why me” attitude can kick in and everything starts to become a negative. “I hate working out from home”, “I wish I could leave the house”.
Negative mindset is a spiral - once you start with a negative outlook, it becomes “I wish I had this, I wish I could do that”. It’s a mentality of scarcity, and it can not only be debilitating for your mental health, but also limit your ability to make progress or even accomplish your goals. How do we combat this? Add gratitude back into the equation.
Gratitude is about embracing what you have. Instead of focusing on the negative, you focus on the positive - what you are able to do. Appreciate the simple things, like having a safe place to sleep and food to eat. It seems overly simple, but by emphasizing the good and the positive, you create a sense of abundance and calm. Implementing gratitude into your daily routine is an important part of easing anxiety and stress.
Start and end your day with being grateful.
Whether it’s through meditation, journaling or speaking it out loud, make time as your day gets started to remind yourself what you are grateful for in your life. Keep these things in mind or written down in front of you as you navigate through your day. When something stressful or anxiety-inducing occurs, remind yourself of these things to put the stressful request or experience in perspective and keep yourself grounded to what matters.
End your day with what you are grateful for from the day’s events. Maybe you got to connect with an old friend, chat with your mom or take some time to work out or watch your favorite show. Big things or small, be intentional about incorporating gratitude into your day.
Change your language.
While this won’t happen overnight, the way you speak and express yourself matters. If you are constantly expressing the negative and what’s missing, you are creating additional stress in your day. Instead emphasize the positive and the opportunity. “I get to work out today!” “I’m so grateful that I can workout safely.” “I am so grateful to spend this time with my family!” “I am so glad I am able to work to support myself.” “I am so lucky that I can safely work from home.”
Those small changes in your language make such a big difference in your approach to the upcoming situation. You are now approaching the day as a value add to your life, instead of an inconvenience.
Understand that gratitude is not the whole solution.
Adding gratitude into your life isn’t going to completely change your experience. You also have to make the same consistent effort towards your goals, create accountability, and set boundaries that work for you. It’s when you are hitting that wall, and things seem hopeless, that gratitude can help you get back on track and keep you going. It’s an important part of the process, but by no means a magic solution.
So, what are you grateful for? What do you have the opportunity to experience this week? Write it down, speak it out loud or share it with others. The more grateful you are, the better week you’ll have.