For the past year or so I have made it a priority to mentally list three things I am grateful for the moment I wake up. Of course, sometimes I’ll be on my way to teach yoga and I’ll think, “Oh shit! Ok, I’m thankful for…..” and list as I drive. Which actually puts an interesting spin on the ritual because I’ll notice other random things while driving that I wouldn’t think of while in bed. For example, today I listed that I was grateful for the beautiful, Chicago skyline, that I have a car to get me to and from places and that I have a job. Although The Mister Project likes to think it’s “Anthony, Anthony, Anthony”. Don’t tell him, but sometimes that is the case. There is no doubt that me paying attention to the good things in my life and acknowledging them has played a huge role to how my day unfolds. It’s difficult to not start the day on a positive note after listing things I am thankful for and I have truly noticed that shift in my mindset over the past 12 months. I’ve found that the benefits are similar to those from meditating on a regular basis. There is an overall sense of calmness and happiness that I feel has set in. Now, don’t get me wrong, I can completely tweak out at times. However, those moments happen much less frequently than they used to and it’s a huge blessing. I’m a work in progress.
I think it is imperative as humans with so much going on in the world and in our lives to stop, reflect and remember that there is truly so much to be grateful for. Especially when life feels like testing our patience, stress levels and emotions. Take a moment now to think of three things at this very second you are thankful for. I guarantee you’ll end up smiling.
Here is how gratitude has helped me:
Rise and shine! I used to seriously struggle in the morning and not only with the physical act of waking up, but not waking up happy. I was pissed in the morning. These days I truly wake up and look forward to the day. Basically, I’m happy to be alive and have another day to get after.
My glass is half full. This ones easy, you either see the positive things in life or the negative. You choose.
“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” – Alphonse Karr
Sayonara anxiety, ya turd! Last year I literally felt mentally and emotionally captured by the big A. I was not in a good place and it was all due to not knowing how to handle some of the challenges I was being dealt. Life can be hard. But if you let the negatives of life overwhelm your brainwaves, it can take a serious toll. With the help of therapy, meditation and a grateful heart, I have learned to manage my stress and anxiety. I have learned to be realistic yet at the same time be more aware of the many blessings in life.
I’m happier. I have always been a happy-go-lucky kind of girl. But after surviving that slump of anxiety, which I felt I was never going to escape from, I feel genuinely happy on the inside.
I feel more love. I have a greater sense of connection to my husband, family, friends, students and even strangers. I feel more open and full of love, which leads me to my next point…
Patience. This was an area I needed help in. Patience was not one of my strongest attributes, but I feel, scratch that, I know, it has gotten better. Combined with meditation, deep breaths (literally) and a thankful heart, I have seen a shift in my level of patience. However, I still really need to work on my road rage. Sometimes, I just can’t. The horn is my friend.
Not giving an F. I read this hilarious, yet extremely valuable, article on not giving an F. We could spend all day bitching about things that, in the grand scheme of things, are meaningless and do not serve us at all. Sometimes in crappy situations, like when we got stuck in the mini hurricane this past weekend at Pitchfork, I’ll laugh it off and be thankful to at least have gotten stuck in it with some cool ass people.
Moving forward. I have come to a point in my high on happiness life that I want to get some things checked off my bucket list. Professional things. The timing is right to prioritize my responsibilities and add a new adventure to my life. Sometimes you just know when the time is right…in this case, the time is perfect.
Love it. Live it. Share it.