Life can be confusing, confronting, and painful. But if you can shift into an attitude of gratitude, even in hard times, you have the power to transform your life into a smoother ride.
The mind is an excellent problem solver, always scouring over what’s missing or needs fixing or improving. But when life’s challenges overwhelm us, our ‘fix it’ thoughts can go into overdrive.
This is a no-win situation! Of course we need to be realistic and to focus our attention on what needs to be done, but becoming completely consumed by stress is draining and sometimes makes things harder.
Plus, it’s precisely during those crazy busy moments that we’re liable to be interrupted by something or someone else requiring our immediate and undivided attention.
Count Your Blessings
Don’t wait for breaking point. When you know your day’s to-do list looks like a week, and more problems are knocking at your door, send your mind back into its happy place by counting your blessings. It’s a cliche for a reason!
As Michelle Bridges says, “Gratitude is an attitude”. It’s just a shift in gears.
Here are five ways to incorporate more gratitude into your life:
- Say Grace.
You don’t have to be religious, but stopping to give thanks before you tuck into a meal will aid digestion and absorption of nutrients, because you are giving your food your full attention. Instead of eating at your desk or in front of the TV, scoffing a meal down after a hungry workout, or feeding yourself while your attention is on the kids, take a moment to stop and recognise this simple, miraculous and delicious part of life. We’re all foodies at heart! Think about how the food got to your table and all the work that went in. As a family you can say grace by simply each mentioning something great that happened that day, big or small.
- Don’t be Sorry!
All too often we, women in particular, automatically apologise for asking for someone’s attention, for help or for a favour – we know how busy they are! But if we simply say ‘thankyou’ instead of ‘sorry’, that person feels the time and energy they’ve given has been appreciated, so why would they feel put out? People love to help and solve problems!
- Thanks for Being You.
When we’re stressed and overwhelmed, our loved ones tend to cop the brunt or miss out on quality time. Even if it feels cheesy at first, go out of your way to tell your loved ones something you’re grateful for and love about them. It could be something they did for you (or didn’t do), a quirky adorable trait you’ve never commented on, a quality you admire or you might just express gratitude for them being in your life. It’ll be worth it – words are powerful.
- The Bigger Picture.
Bad news? Bombshell just dropped? Last straw? Before you snap, taking a big, deep breath. Walk away from the situation for a minute – even if you have to shut yourself in the bathroom! Ideally, take yourself for a cup of tea or a coffee. Just ten minutes of alone time will do. Look around you, think about your life and list a few things you’re grateful for right at that moment – even if it’s just the sunshineLife is beautiful, right? Change is the only constant, yes? If you can look see your life as many wonderful, interwoven paths, along each of which you have the chance to learn and grow and give, you’ll handle this difficult situation like an absolute pro.
- You Have Your Health.
Even if you’ve fallen into some 21st Century habits of eating processed foods; sitting still in front of the computer, or vegging out in front of the TV late at night… the up side of living in the 21st Century is that you are in the right place at the right time to turn your health around. Here’s why:
- You have all the tools – in this age of information you have access to amazing programs like 12WBT and articles, videos, TV shows, magazines and books on health and fitness to help you along.
- You have first world problems – if you have a safe outdoor lifestyle, access to an abundance of fresh seasonal foods, excellent health services, and fresh water on tap, you have more wealth than most people of the world, now or in all of history.
- 40 is the new 25! At the beginning of the 20th Century, life expectancy in Australia was 55 years for males and 59 years for females. Children born in 2009-2011 are expected to live to 79.7 years for males and 84.2 years for females. We have so much time to explore and grow. Which is what we’re here for – to be grateful and enjoy!
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