Day 14 – Be Actively Grateful

Todays Cates Thoughts to Ponder is inspired for all those going through tough times and in particular those families who have been affected by the fires and hot weather in Australia and NZ.

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Gratitude enhances positive emotions and improves health.   It is one of the most wonderful tools you can learn to enhance you in all aspects of life.   Let’s face it. It’s cool to be grateful. Oprah made it a worldwide phenomenon when she started encouraging gratitude on her live shows, many big names practice gratitude to assit in reaching their goals.. And, there’s a reason it’s so popular. Focusing on what you have and not what you lack is one of the most simple and wonderful ways to learn to appreciate your life and the people in it.

For some, gratitude comes easily. For others, it takes work. Here are some ways I’ve found to revive the gratefulness perspective:

Exercise I know I am preaching to the converted here but before you step out you  are down on your life, annoyed by your family and friends and generally irritated by everything. During your favourite exercise session something happens. Life opens up. You get perspective. You start to notice the beauty around you. You appreciate the strength of your body. Post-run your head is clear and you are often able to feel and see the gifts around you.

Be the very best version of you ever!  This is the single most important thing to do if you want to feel better about your life. be Stop comparing yourself to others.   Focus on being you!  This is your day, your journey, your race, your family, your relationship, your job. Make it a point to be the best person you can possibly be!

Be Grateful at the same time everyday. Make being grateful a part of your day just like brushing your teeth. I do an inventory last thing at night before I turn out the light.   I focus on things that are going right in my life and the people who I cherish. If I’m dealing with a particular struggle or challenge, I look to what I can learn from the situation to make it make me better in the future.   I am always grateful for the gifts the  challenge brings.

Give to others. Sometimes we get so stuck in our heads about what our personal challenges are. When we reach out and take time for others, gratitude and a sense of well being are returned. Practice regular Random Act of Kindness and see what happens.   Send a friend a card. Volunteer at an old folk’s home. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee.

Stop thinking it should be a certain way. When we get caught up in an ideal of how we think life needs to be, we become inflexible. We get let down. We forget to be grateful. Do your best to accept how life is unfolding for you right now. This doesn’t mean you can’t have dreams and a preference for how you would like things to go. But, do not be tied to that plan. Sometimes the best thing is to take a deep breathe, go with the flow, be adaptable.

Expect that something magical will happen every day. We are taught to have very high expectations for ourselves.   This can lead to feeling like these are not met when things don’t go to plan.   Instead we can wake up every morning and expect something magical will happen that day.  Then we will subconsciously seek it out all day.

Smile at a strangers. A smile costs absolutely nothing and can bring so much joy to you and the person you smile at….

Happy Gratitude LeapStars xx