Gratitude

Mary Davis stated: “The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” Indeed, the more you practice gratitude, the more you are going to automatically have a positive outlook on life instead of entertaining a negative worldview. It’s about focusing on the goodness that is already present in your life as opposed to longing for what you don’t have. Gratitude rewires the brain. This well-being triggered by feeling grateful, thankful, and therefore happier can allow you to be stronger and more resilient at the same time.

It’s about celebrating little things (and bigger ones too of course) and making a daily practice of it. Just a few minutes of self-introspection each day can go a long way. Practicing gratitude is a powerful way to strengthen the parts of your brain that are linked to positive thinking. 

Journaling

One option is to write down 3 things you are grateful for in the morning, and to repeat that at night before going to bed (or at the dinner table as a family). 

You can also do this just once a day, in the morning or evening, whatever works best with your schedule. If in the morning, it can be part of a new morning routine, whether you are an early riser or not. If at night, this can actually help you de-stress from the day’s usual ups and downs.

Another option is the one described by Tim Ferriss in Tools of Titans: The 5-Minute Journal (5MJ), which I find very introspective. 

– In the morning, you want to answer the following prompts:

  • I am grateful for…1._______ 2._______ 3._______
  • What would make today great? 1._______ 2._______ 3._______
  • Daily affirmations. I am…1._______ 2._______ 3._______

– In the evening, you want to reflect on the day:

  • 3 amazing things that happened today…1._______ 2._______ 3._______
  • How could I have made today better? 1._______ 2._______ 3._______

Examples of Gratitudes

When you write down what you are grateful for each day, it is better not to repeat the same things over and over. Going on autopilot is not the purpose of this practice. Find simple things around you, within sights, like passing a beautiful bird on your way to work, enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, or witnessing a happy event. It can be finally completing a project that you are proud of or being thankful for a special moment with your child, reading a book at bedtime. You can be grateful for an old relationship that was dear to you or for the opportunity you have to call someone you haven’t chatted with in a long time. The list can be endless.

And if some days are not perfect in taking the time to count your blessings in writing, it’s okay. Just pick right back up the next day where you left off. Making it a habit to see the good that surrounds you will help you deal with challenges on a whole new level.

Did you get your notebook yet?

Until next time!

References

Asprey, Dave. “Use Gratitude to Rewire Your Brain.” Dave Asprey, 28 Nov. 2019, daveasprey.com/use-gratitude-to-rewire-your-brain/. Accessed 14 Aug. 2021.

Ferriss, Timothy. Tools of Titans : The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017, pp. 143–48.

Lipman, Frank MD. How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life. Houghton Mifflin, 2019, pp. 232-33.

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5 affirmations to start 2020

So what did you decide to tackle in 2020? I have no specific New Year’s resolution besides continuing the routine I have set for myself to keep my energy levels and health as they are right now. That alone is work and that is plenty for me. That said, I have a set of affirmation cards (Affirmators! by Suzi Barrett) that can give oneself a nice little boost when the moral is not at its best. Reminding ourselves of what truly matters in life on a regular basis can make a world of difference over time. Out of this set, I have picked 5 affirmations to start this brand new year: 

  • Follow your heart: “I’m always rewarded when I follow my heart. I trust that the GPS in my heart knows all the best routes. And when it seems like it’s taking too long to get where I want, I know that’s because there’s some cool, weird stuff to see along the way.”
  • Generosity: “ I give generously to those around me, no matter how much (or how little) I have. I know there is more than enough to go around, and that the key is to allow it to keep going around without stopping. If I stop the flow, I’m like the one person at the stadium who doesn’t do the wave.”
  • Impermanence: “Life is always changing, and I drift easily through those changes, good and bad. As I drift through hard times, I can take comfort in knowing that I will leave them behind. As I drift away from good times, I can take comfort in knowing that more will come my way. Impermanence is an equal-opportunity nonentity.”
  • No judgment: “I release myself from any and all judgments. I find my inner critic, call it into my office, and tell it to take a vacation. As it leaves the room, I let out a sigh and begin to enjoy the joy of simply being. Who hired that guy anyway?”
  • Power: “I am strong, I am grounded, I am powerful. I am like a cross between a dinosaur and a tank. But not a tank that is used for war. I am like a peaceful, loving dino-tank who feels so strong it doesn’t need to do anything but be.”


In summary

These are 5 powerful affirmations that I think can go a long way to help us wherever we are in life. So beyond the different resolutions we may take this new year to better or maintain our health and wellness, it seems to me that feeling grounded is what can allow us to take on new healthy habits and keep them beyond the first month.

To your health and wellness, and to this brand new year!

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