Intentional Living – Gratitude
Embracing an attitude of gratitude is essential when designing an intentional life. It can help you create more abundance, gain clarity, slow down and start living with grace and ease.
But If you’re like most busy, over-worked women, you’ve probably developed some pretty bad habits throughout your life that aren’t so easy to break. So when trying to design a life that’s intentional and sustainable, it requires creating new habits, commitment and focus. Here are eight ideas for maximizing your efforts, to make your new lifestyle as joyful and stress-free as possible.
Surround Yourself with Beauty
Look for ways to add visual beauty to your surroundings. Treat yourself to fresh flowers every week. Get rid of clutter. Find ways to incorporate images that bring you peace into everyday items such as your coffee mug, your pens, notebooks and affirmation cards—even your yoga mat!
Practice Gratitude Waking and Falling Asleep
The quickest way to get into the habit of gratitude: Find three things to be grateful for, first thing in the morning—before even opening your eyes. And when your head hits the pillow, think of three things you were grateful for that happened during the day. (And feel free to add more, if you like!)
Heal Relationships with Gratitude
Ohh this is a hard one. No matter how angry you are with someone, don’t go to bed without thinking about, finding and telling them something you love about them.
Find Small Things You Take for Granted
Sometimes the things we should be most grateful for, we miss. Instead, we take them for granted. Looking for these small, overlooked details of our lives helps teach us to be more situationally aware, so that our appreciation for all the wonders of life naturally grows—including what is wonderful about others.
Volunteer Your Time
Nothing helps us see our blessings more clearly than volunteering to help those who are in pain. Nothing helps us love others more than working with others for a common, positive goal.
You may already be donating money to do your part—and that’s wonderful. But volunteer your time too, and get out there in your community. When you help others, you quickly learn that you are the one blessed, with something to be grateful for, in the transaction.
Write Thank You Letters
Think of people in your life who make your life better. Write them thank-you letters … even if you never send them.Putting in words what you appreciate about the people in your life (past or present) is a wonderful way of creating neural pathways of gratitude in your brain.
Say Your Own Grace
Even if you are not particularly religious, say a “Grace” when you put on a meal for family and friends. If you don’t want to say a prayer. Simply tell those at your table that you are grateful for each one of them.
Don’t just Say Thank You
‘Thank you’ is a beautiful phrase filled with gratitude—yet when we say ‘thank you’ we often say it the way we say ‘how are you?”—without waiting for (or wanting) a real answer.
People say, “You’re welcome”, and they say it automatically too. So next time you need to say ‘thank you’ to someone, turn it into an opportunity for genuine gratitude. Acknowledge what you are thankful for and note any sacrifice that was made for your benefit. For example, “Thank you, sis, for picking up my children from school today, I know you had a lot of errands to run and I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out.”
There are so many ways we can practice gratitude daily! Take it one day at a time. If you know you’re someone who has a hard time being consistent with new habits, you could even put a reminder in your phone to go off at a particular time to remind you to do one of these simple things. If you have some great ideas on how to practice gratitude I’d love to hear them!
Love and Light.