Every day we face tons of responsibilities, worries and roadblocks. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that seems to be going wrong. There are days, weeks, months or even years that feel like our whole world is crashing down. You find yourself screaming, “WHY ME!!” And it’s not only our own personal issues going on that can weigh heavily on us. If you just turn on the news you will get an array of upsetting stories that have you questioning how the world can be so ugly. This constant negativity not only affects your mindset and mood but also your health. It can lead to anxiety and depression, both of which continue to be on the rise, according to nymag.com. A poor mindset also leads to physical ailments and sickness. What the mind creates the body follows, so it’s essential to keep our minds in tip top shape. We must rid our minds of the unnecessary negativity and a simple way to start this process is by practicing gratitude. When I started using this in my everyday life, dramatic changes started happening. I was depressed, anxious, stressed and it was affecting every aspect of my life. I knew I had to do something about it and when I discovered this simple practice my life changed to the point that I had felt I found magic! I was amazed how easy it was to turn my situation around when I was using gratitude. I now use this on a daily basis and I can say I am the happiest I have ever been because of it. The negativity of life can blind you to the fact that there is still greatness surrounding you. Use these 3 easy practices to start shifting your mindset and changing your life for the better.
- Be grateful for the day
Now this may sound cliché but I promise you it’s gold! This was the first step I took in practicing gratitude, as it is the most basic and the simplest to implement. The fact that you have woken up and have another day on this earth is something to be grateful for on its own. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are not so lucky. You have a new day to start over, a new day to create, a new day to learn, a new day to grow. Think of something you love doing – well you now have another day to potentially enjoy that activity. Think of a goal you are after – you now have a new day to work towards it. Think of one thing you are looking forward to today even if it’s as simple as eating a delicious lunch. No matter how terrible the previous days have been, when you wake up it’s like a second chance. Don’t harp on the past, live in the now. Practice mindfulness. It’s so necessary to start your morning on the right side of the bed. Now of course this is definitely easier said than done at times and it does take practice. It will feel like you are fighting yourself at first, but don’t give up! Changing your mindset is one of the hardest things to do but it’s something you have 100% control over. I promise you it’s worth fighting for. Set a reminder in your phone every morning to be grateful for the day in whatever way speaks to you. My alarm is set with the phrase “Time to get up and seize the day!”. Find a phrase that will inspire you to appreciate and embrace the day.
- Write down 10 things you are grateful for everyday
One of my favorite ways to practice gratitude is by writing things that I am grateful for. I try to do this every day, especially when I feel like my mindset could use a little boost. I keep a gratitude notebook and everyday I write down 10 things I am grateful for. These things could be as trivial as appreciating the lovely meal you had for dinner last night or as significant as being grateful for a loved one. I try to make sure I don’t repeat the following day’s list, unless I feel like that item needs some extra loving. You may think this is hard to do but that’s just your negative mindset talking – don’t let it win! There are things in your life that you probably feel like there is no upside or aspect to be grateful for. Those are the things you want to focus on the most during this exercise. If you focus your positivity towards these situations, you will see a dramatic improvement in them. I swear by it! For example, I hated my job and I couldn’t stand having to go there every day. I began to use this exercise focusing only on my job. At first, it seemed impossible to find 10 things I was grateful for regarding it. But I just had to look outside of the box. I was grateful for the money it provided me so I was able to pay my bills. I was grateful for the things it had taught me. I was grateful for the experience it added on my resume. I was grateful for the amazing location I was in because of it. Pretty soon I was able to find many positive things about it. After I began using this practice towards it, I was able to get through the rest of my time there with a better attitude and eventually a new job opportunity came along. Gratitude is a life hack that not enough people know about. It’s life changing. Set aside a few minutes in your day to write down 10 things you’re grateful for and why. Read it back to yourself and work on truly feeling appreciative for these things. Override your negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Be grateful for yourself
Self-love is one of the most important aspects to having a positive mindset, and it’s sadly lacking in today’s culture. We are often times our own biggest critics. We can be so hard on ourselves to do better or be better. Only by loving yourself as you are now, can you improve and grow. Take a deep look and think of things you are grateful for about yourself. Every single person has something to offer this world even if you don’t see it now. You have made someone’s life better even though you may not even realize it. We all have amazing things to contribute to one another. What are your strengths? What do you love most about yourself? These are questions that sometimes we have a hard time answering. If that’s the case, then it’s even more important for you to focus your energy on it. Focus on it every day until you can come up with a list of at least 10 things you truly appreciate about yourself. We all have flaws and it’s important to be aware of those as well, but life is about balance. Notice your beauty just as much as your flaws. Understand that your flaws do not define you. We are ever-changing creatures, constantly growing and getting better over time. Look at how far you’ve come. You are working on yourself and becoming the person you desire to be. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and your flaws. Love yourself, appreciate yourself. Once you find true self-love, your mindset will do a 360 for the better.
It’s so easy to get trapped in an endless cycle of despair and pity for yourself. Concentrate and dedicate yourself to making a change. Change your mindset and your life will follow, I promise. The thoughts in your mind attract the things in your life. As always comment, share or send me your thoughts on the topic!