Updated: Nov 28, 2019
I must admit the past week had questioned my values on the human race. I was raised with parents who installed honesty and integrity from a young age and I always believed that being honest was the only way to live life.
Well this past weekend truly shattered not only the values that I feel so strongly about, but the values of other people in our society. The fact that someone would steal a possession that is not their own is still something I cannot comprehend.
My brand new Iphone was stolen at a local supermarket near our home. Now you may be thinking, silly me for leaving it at the check-out, and yes I take full responsibility for walking out and leaving it there for a whole 5 minutes BUT seriously is this the way our world is heading? How could anyone think to take something of someone’s and believe this is acceptable? Where is the integrity of that person? How can they sleep at night knowing they have taken something of someone’s else and knowing full right that person would be devastated.
Well after a few days of feeling anger, disappointment, yes I admit I am lost without this dam phone, I have now started to shift my thoughts. I do believe out of something negative there has to be a positive, so I sat myself down, wiped the tears, took a few deep breathes and thought about what I was actually upset about. Was it the fact it was a brand new phone OR the fact someone stole a possession of mine? I was so upset that someone could actually do such a horrible act but I needed to dig deeper. I needed to overcome all of those hurtful emotions that were consuming my body and shift my mindset to one of gratefulness. GRATEFUL because I still have my life, GRATEFUL that I have the most beautiful family and GRATEFUL I was brought up in a loving home with parents who gave me the values I have today.
Being grateful has the power to block out negative emotions. You can’t really pay attention to what’s missing or what’s not going well if you only let your mind pay attention to what is.
I wanted to share with you 10 of my simple daily rituals to help you shift into a grateful mindset as you go about your day:
1. Every day, say aloud three good things that happened. This can be a fun activity to do with your kids when you tuck them in, or around the dinner table with family, but it’s also extremely powerful to express gratitude aloud when you’re alone.
2. Keep a gratitude journal. This is something I am so thankful to have learnt at a beautiful retreat I attended. Simply jot down the small things from your day that mattered to you, like the few minutes of quiet time you had on your drive to work, or the fact that this afternoon’s rain storm didn’t flood your kitchen. If you’re having a particularly rough day, you can look back through the pages of accumulated blessings in your life.
3. Say thanks to your partner. Couples who express gratitude toward one another set up a powerful feedback loop of intimacy and trust, where both partners feel as if their needs are being met.
4. Cool a hot temper with a quick gratitude inventory. One of the quickest ways to dispel the energy of a stormy mood is to focus your attention on what’s good. So when you’re about to lash out at someone, take a moment to do a quick inventory of five things you’re thankful for in the moment. It could be your good health, clean air, or even the recent switch to a cheaper phone bill—these details will help you relax and avoid saying something you’ll later regret.
5. Thank yourself. Gratitude doesn’t always need to be focused on what other people have done for you! Make sure you give yourself a thank-you for the healthy habits you’ve cultivated in your own life, such as eating plenty of veggies or giving yourself enough time for rest each night.
6. Use technology to send three gratitude messages a week. Find yourself glued to your phone or the internet for hours each day? Harness the power of this technology to send out some good vibes, such as a text or Facebook comment, to tell your friends why you appreciate them.
7. Savor the good moments. If you notice you’re feeling happy, stop what you’re doing and pay attention for a few minutes. Notice exactly how you feel, including the sensations in your body and the thoughts you’re having. Later, when you’re trying to inspire gratitude, you can remember this moment and experience the benefits all over again.
8. Check for silver linings. Even the most difficult life challenges come with some benefit—you just have to look to find them. Being sick draws the compassion of friends. Making a mistake teaches you a lesson. When things feel hard, ask yourself: What’s good here? Just like my phone situation. I know its challenging but honestly you will feel so much better for doing it.
9. Look outward, not inward. Empathy for others can trigger a sense of gratitude, and people who have an outward focus tend to experience stronger benefits.
10. Change your perspective. If you struggle to come up with something to feel grateful for, put yourself in the shoes of someone who is experiencing misfortunes greater than your own. Recalling a colleague who has a debilitating physical condition, for example, will inspire gratitude for your own healthy body, which you may have taken for granted otherwise.