…Not an easy thing to come by in 2013. It’s an even harder thing to come by living in the suburbs of one of the most affluent cities in the world. It’s looked over big time – not even looked over- full out ignored: by society, our parents, our peers. I know you’ve heard it before, but do you understand it? Practicing gratitude is the key to everyday fulfillment. It can be really hard to achieve living in a culture consumed with buying stuff. To be honest, I didn’t understand its importance until I was a broke post-college graduation living paycheck to paycheck. Even now, cultivating gratitude is a working practice that yields happiness and all around good feelings. So, if you’re into that, read on to learn three different ways, you can get happier instantly.
1. Trim the Fat
If you can clear out the unnecessary stuff, you’re one step closer to seeing (and appreciating) the small things. I should mention too that the small things are immeasurably powerful.
Maybe it’s the little head tilt your dog does when you say, “walk?” Maybe it’s a warm bed and a good book. Maybe it’s a hug from your mom when you need it the most. Or in my case, maybe it’s a 25 cent ice cream cone from McDonalds. (You don’t appreciate the true value of a quarter until you’ve had one…ok you guys?) My point is RELISH those tiny moments. They mean more than way more than you think.
2. Make it a practice.
Take up an art project to show your gratitude. For Get Smart, we challenged you to make a gratitude collage using photos of everything you’re thankful for. A good place to start is with your Instagram photos. Print them out, hang them up, or make it the wallpaper on your computer. Keep reminding yourself of all the great things in your world. Another great one (especially for all you tally-keeping-goal-getters) is making a gratitude jar. Keep it in your room. Everytime you accomplish something (even if it’s a baby step of a goal) write it down on a piece of paper and throw it in. Took a spin class for the first time in 4 years? Throw it in the jar. Rescued a pooch from the shelter? It goes n the jar. Used your big toe to change the channel on the remote control? JAR! At the end of the year, pour them out, reminisce, and let the good feelings flow. It puts your accomplishments in perspective and shows you how far you’ve come. (Even you, Big Toe Joe)
3) Put thank you in your daily vocab.
We can forget to give thanks during the everyday hustle. But it goes such a long way. It’s worth emphasizing. Giving the Starbucks guy, bus driver, bank teller, co-worker or whoever a little extra nod is not only polite, but kind. Those little gestures not only mean so much to the recipient, but they also show the world who you are as a person. Not to mention, when you treat people with kindness and respect you are more than likely going to get the same in return. It’s a win-win.
So, how are you going to show your appreciation for life today? I’m telling you, when you show a little extra love for your world and the people in it, things brighten up, and opportunities present themselves to you. That’s for a later post though. For now, keep doing good and spreading the love. It’s a simple task. You just have to say yes……and thank you.
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Until next time xo