Let’s face it, in 2017 I bet you feel that there are so many things occupying your mind daily that sometimes it can be hard to feel like you are achieving, you are happy, content and completely in love with your life? I thought that too, until I found how to love my life by slowing down, living in the present moment and most importantly – how to be grateful.
I get it; you have bills to pay, you have a car to run, you have kids to take care of, pets to look after, relatives who are unwell, your own body to nurture, food to buy, chores to do, unfinished work, new things you want to buy – it can be easy to weigh yourself down mentally with unhappy thoughts. It’s like dominos; one negative thought leads to another…and another…and another. It’s a pattern that can spiral out of control and leave you feeling gloomy, but you can control it and completely turn your life around (or at least make it easier) by having a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) and by being grateful for what you have.
Let me share with you how practicing gratitude has changed and continues to change my life with every new day.
Appreciate what you have
For a start, think about the quote “the things you take for granted, someone else is praying for”… and I don’t mean just read it and stick the quote on your Insta. Really think about it. The things you already have in your life, are someone else’s dreams. Everything from not being born into poverty, having a roof over your head, having food to eat, clean water, a family, underwear, clothes, soap, a car, money for the bus, a job, the ability to speak, to see, to hear… you get me? Every little thing you have, think deeply about it and feel how thankful you are to have them.
The more you think about these things and learn to appreciate them through feeling the emotion, the happier you become. It’s pretty hard to wake up in the morning and think about how grateful you are to be alive without a smile spreading across your face. Just like I spoke about above, the ‘domino effect’ of your negative thoughts, this is the same case with your positive thoughts – yay! So what better way to start your day than with a chain of positive thoughts?! If you think about how down and low you feel when one unhappy thought piles on top of another, just think about how amazing you will feel when your good thoughts just keep rolling and rolling… and become never-ending!
If you wake up in the morning and your first thought is, “oh no! I have to pay that bill today! I am late for my appointment! I am worried about work…” then your day has already started negatively.
If you wake up and think “I am so grateful to be alive, thank you for today!” etc. then you will continue your day with a positive outlook on life.
I have written a list of things to be grateful for to get you started if you are struggling to think, because I have so much to be thankful for in my life – and you do too!
How to start practicing gratitude
I wake up easy in the mornings now, and feel light, alive, enthusiastic and passionate for the day ahead – but this is because I’ve been practicing having an ‘attitude of gratitude’ for the best part of a year now, and it is now a daily habit. If you find it difficult to wake up in the morning and have a positive thought immediately – because you like so many others around you have become sucked into a daily life of unnecessary struggle and negativity, then a good way to start is by writing happy thoughts down.
Set an alarm 10 minutes earlier than usual and start by writing 5 things you are grateful for, and why they make you feel thankful. Then after a week, increase it to 10 thoughts. You can type it down on your phone or laptop, but there is something about having a fresh new notepad (LOVE new stationary!) and seeing your happy and grateful thoughts written in your own handwriting – and you can use different colours!
For example, write sentences like;
– I am thankful for the house that I live in, because I have a roof over my head and it is safe and warm
– I am grateful for the money that I have in my life, because I can afford to buy the things that I want and need
It’s important to say I got this idea from one of my favourite books, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne – the first in a series of self-help, inspiring and life changing reads. It is a daily task that makes me feel refreshed and appreciative, but admittedly there are some days I don’t write down my positive thoughts, but they are always in my head now because I’ve completely changed my way of thinking. If you have them written down, you can look back at the paper throughout the day.
Look around you
If you haven’t written thoughts down, or even if you have, to feel gratitude and to love your life more simply look around you more.
I’m going to give you an example of this. If you’re on the train and it was a few minutes late and you’re hustling and bustling to get to work, instead of standing or sitting with your head in your phone, tweeting and texting about how angry you are, use this as time to find things you love.
You can think about how grateful you are for the train you’re on and how thankful you feel towards the workers who built the railway, thankful for how you can get from A to B, thankful for the money you have for the ticket, how much you love the lady’s coat colour in front of you, how thankful you are that it is raining outside and nourishing the plants when some countries are thirsty for our weather, grateful for the ability you have to walk to the station, how much you love the music you are listening to in your headphones, how you are grateful for the clothes you have, how you love the smell of the aftershave the man beside you is wearing. If you find it really difficult to find anything (when you start looking, things you love and feel grateful for are everywhere!) then think about people and places you love – how grateful you are for your family, for your mum bringing you up to be the person you are, for the friends you are supported by, how much you love the place you went on holiday last year… love and gratitude are everywhere in our daily lives and can tip you from feeling bad to good almost instantly!
Tricky topics like money and health
It is really important to stress that topics like money and health must be thought of in a positive light for I am a strong believer of reaping what you sow. It is the law of attraction – like attracts like, you are what you think etc. So, if you send out negative thoughts about your finances out into the universe, you will be met with more negative financial situations. If you tell yourself and everyone around you that you are ill, no matter even if it’s a common cold, the universe will send more poor health your way. Therefore, if you tell yourself that you are rich with perfect health, then the law of attraction has no other option but to reward you with money and health.
Even if you have bills coming through your door, do not open them if you have any negative thoughts about the bill beforehand. Wait until you feel really happy, open the bill and imagine that the money is being sent to your account rather than being taken from it and feel the excitement inside you that you would feel if that was the case. This is another tip I have taken and practiced from Rhonda Byrne’s book series.
If you find the imagination process difficult at the start and feel really low about money, then write down and really think about how grateful and truly thankful you are for the money you have had in your life – the money you’ve been given as a child from parents and grandparents to bring you up, money you’ve had for clothes and food, money you’ve had for rent and insurance, money you have had to spend on friends and family and make them feel happy. And imagine what you would do with the money you want if you did have it, and it’s the same with health. Picture every cell in your body fighting to keep you strong and alive and be thankful for them, be thankful for the organs you have that keep you alive every day and be grateful for the perfect healthy body that you possess.
Feel the appreciation
Use your emotions to feel the gratitude that you are writing down, because feeling something sends out a positive frequency into the universe and makes it almost impossible for bad things to come your way! You can tip your whole day from being negative to positive by feeling happy, excited, amazed and positive. People will often say to me ‘why are you so happy all the time? how can you possibly be so bubbly?’ my answer? I love my life! I have so much to be thankful for – I look around me every day and feel happy and love my life because I am so so lucky! I have a loving family, a beautiful home, wonderful friends, a perfectly healthy body, a clever mind, an amazing job, I have money, a car, and life is easy… all good things come my way and I truly believe that.
I am blessed. I am grateful. I am happy.
And it is more than possible for YOU to feel that way too.