Feeling grumpy? In a bit of a funk? Having one of those days or weeks? Here are a few ways to bring gratitude into your daily life. Give one (or all) a try and just notice if you start to shift into a better headspace.
1. Take a gratitude walk. Get outside, preferably in nature, and go for a walk, stating aloud all of the things that you are grateful for. Breathe deeply and just keep on giving thanks. If you run out of things, just start over or focus on the little things like, say, being able to walk and breathe. Years ago my walk home from work was on a busy road, and thanks to the noise of the cars I could ramble on, sometimes loudly, without anyone noticing. I’d feel like a new person by the time I arrived home.
2. Start a gratitude journal. Easy concept. Powerful experience. Do this any time, or set aside 10-15 minutes a day and just keep writing. It’s one of the fastest ways to change an icky mood.
3. Do the mirror appreciation exercise for chronic bad moods and negativity. Commit to doing this daily for at least a couple of months. Before going to bed, spend a few minutes looking at yourself in the mirror and appreciate all that you have accomplished during the day.
Start by looking directly into your eyes in the mirror and then begin stating aloud any achievements, disciplines you’ve kept (dietary, exercise, etc.), and any negative behaviour that you did not participate in during the day. Be sure to maintain eye contact. When you are finished, look yourself in the eyes and say “I love you” and stand there for another few seconds taking in the entire exercise.
This will probably feel strange and silly at first, but stick with it and pay attention to how the negative self-talk in your mind begins to quiet over time. It’s such a simple exercise, admittedly bizarre, but more powerful than you would expect!
I’d love to hear from you about any results you have after trying these activities. And a big thank you to all who are reading this blog.