Focusing on what you are grateful for is not a new concept, but it’s a practice worth mentioning as it’s a key ingredient in one having a happier, more abundant life (and I don’t just mean money). When we focus on all the things—big and little—which we appreciate about our lives right now, we see and will experience more of those types of things. Too often we focus on what we don’t like, don’t have and don’t want to experience. Our mental energy gets caught in a state of worry, fear or dread for what may or may not come. Incorporating the practice of having an Attitude of Gratitude, even for just 5-10 minutes a day, can actually change your life.
The first step in living life with an Attitude of Gratitude is to create a way to easily adopt the practice into your life by making it a part of your regular routine. I recommend writing down your gratitude list because I believe there is power in getting words on paper. Plus, it becomes a nice little documentation of sorts as to what was going on in your life without writing any long journal entries. However, some people prefer (and get the same results) from running through a mental list of all they are grateful for while they are walking or showering or commuting to work. The when, where and how is less important then just doing it.
If you decide to write it down, choose a time of the day that makes the most sense for you. For me it’s become the last thing I do before I turn out the light and lay my head on the pillow. Set aside 5-10 minutes to go through a running list of all you appreciate and are grateful about the day and in that moment. These can be long, full sentences or short bulleted points—your choice. The important thing is to get them down and actually spend a moment feeling the gratitude for those things you are acknowledging.
This practice can and will shift your focus as to how you experience life. The more you integrate the above practice into your daily life, the easier it will become to go to a place of gratitude throughout the day. For many, this practice helps them see things from a more positive perspective in all areas of their life because they are training their mind to look for the positive, appreciate what feels good and attract more of those positive feelings to them. Like really does attract like!
This is an especially important and valuable practice for moms, but one in which can all too easily go down the tubes because, um, honestly, when do you have time to add yet another to-do to your already l-o-n-g list?
Make the time! As moms, it’s way too easy to get caught up in our worries, concerns and challenges with our children. We can get so focused on there not being enough time to do it all, enough patience to get through another battle, enough energy to keep up and the list can go on and on. The funny thing is, by practicing your Attitude of Gratitude, you will often find that you begin to feel like you do have enough time, patience and energy and your experience as a mother shifts from ‘getting through the day’ to really enjoying the day.
Test it out. For one week, make time every morning or every night to jot down 5-10 things that you are grateful for and see what happens!