We live in a beautiful world, however sometimes unpredictable.  Daily life alone can be fairly crazy.  Along with the thoughts in our head, we are constantly bombarded by background noises like ringtones, background music, traffic, people around us wherever we go, various notifications, announcements, etc. Add that to our increasingly growing existential problems like having a home, projects piling up, not having enough time to get out with friends or struggling through money issues.  It seems almost too much to bear compounded with the world chaos we are experiencing through news outlets and social media.

What can we do to diminish the damage this fragmented stress has on our lives?   We want to share a few things we do to get through all of the heavy things, and it all begins with understanding gratitude.

Gratitude is one of the most important things you can express in life.  Gratitude generates a vibration of happiness and joy.  A feeling that allows us to get in touch with our inner self as opposed to the self we have been conditioned to be.  It may be difficult to exude during times of stress, but it is one of the few things that has an incalculable return on investment.  And, in most cases it is an honest and open attempt at honoring the things in life that are helpful and good and that creates a space for happiness.

Gratitude isn’t something that happens to us, it is something you have to choose and work at.  Practice, practice and more practice is necessary for honing this skill:

  • First, acknowledge your stress, you cannot do away with it by denying it’s existence.  Life has valleys and peaks and understanding that one can’t exist without the other is a big deal.
  • Keep a gratitude journal – Reflect on the ‘good’ that happens to you, make a concerted effort to be grateful in a specific way.  Sometimes take a moment to reflect on who, not just what.  There are a lot of people in our lives that do things that impact us in a positive way.
  • Express gratitude to people all the time.  Especially people that you suspect never hear it.  Did the bagger at the grocery store put your items together great?   Thank them – recognize them.  These little things can have a butterfly effect.
  • Allow people to express gratitude to you.  Don’t deflect or give someone else credit.  Don’t dismiss someone else’s attempt to express gratitude.  Accept it graciously and feel good you were acknowledged.
  • Be specific with your gratitude.  We all like to hear thanks, but don’t we like to hear why?  Being specific will transform your interaction into a real moment instead of a generic one.  Instead of just “Thank You” to the client who brought you cookies, why not say thank you for some really great peanut butter cookies?  It seems simple, but can make a difference.
  • Compliments can be considered a form of gratitude.  If your partner asks you if they look ‘ok’ as you step out, don’t just say “You look great,” instead say why – does that particular shade of blue bring out their eyes?  That doesn’t mean you need to be the proverbial brown-noser.  It means an honest and sincere compliment is born out of an appreciation of something, which is inherently showing gratitude.
  • Help Others – I know, this may not seem like a way of expressing gratitude, it’s more of a service or good deed, right?  No, it’s an endless loop.  When we help others in need, we recognize that we may have more than them and it allows us to experience gratitude for our own current life as-is.

Often, finding thankfulness is an act of your will, not your emotions. By being mindful and deliberate in focusing on your blessings, you are helping not only your own attitude but also that of your family.

Being Grateful is the foundation for everything else you create.  From that place you will create a vision, set your intentions, and manifest your dreams. You might actually say it is a seed that you plant in some rich soil, water, fertilize, and pick out the weeds, until a beautiful flower blooms.  That beautiful flower is your life.