I want to talk to you about gratitude and appreciation, and having a practice in place for this.
Now, before you think “Nope, I don’t have time for one more thing on my to-do list”, hear me out.
What I have in mind is something that won’t take up any of your extra time. Like a lot of the other things I share with you, this is a simple hack that you can easily incorporate into your daily life.
The idea is to have a go-to practice that you can put into practice whenever you need it. (Trust me. I have no interest in making your life more complicated.)
The idea is to have a way to expand your feelings of happiness and feel more confident and present in your life. And hey, who doesn’t want those things?
Check this out:
Making Gratitude Work for You
I know you’ve probably heard about having a gratitude practice. I certainly had, and I was trying to figure out a way to add it to my daily list, along with exercise, meditation, and journaling.
One suggestion I’ve heard several times is to write down three things every day that you’re grateful for and three things you appreciate.
Now, don’t get me wrong. That can be a very powerful exercise. But what I found was for me, it became a chore. I found that I was often writing down the same things every day, and it wasn’t feeling particularly fabulous about any of it.
Yes, I’m grateful for my husband, my dog, my kids, my house and all those other good things. But I didn’t find that writing that down every day was really adding anything to my life.
This past summer, I was going through a bit of a tumultuous time and I decided that the three daily things really wasn’t working for me. So instead I decided I was going to figure out my own way to practice gratitude.
My idea was to be on the lookout for things that inspired me or times when I was feeling really appreciative, and make a conscious effort to be aware of it. To just soak it up when it happens and own the moment.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.
The other day I went to a meditation and philosophy class. I asked my 18-year-old son if he wanted to join me, and I was pleasantly surprised when he said yes.
We got to the class, and my son noticed right away that it was just him, myself and a whole bunch of middle-aged women.
We did some different exercises, and at one point I noticed there was a lady sitting across from me just beaming. Her face was all lit up and she was watching me.
She leaned across and said to me “You know, I think it’s so wonderful that you’re here with your son and you’re sharing this experience. I’m a mother and the idea that I could do this with my daughter when she’s older is just incredible.”
In that moment, I just stopped. I thought to myself that wow, this really IS incredible. My son is here with me, he’s taking it in and he’s such a kind and connected young man.
I felt grateful. Grateful to be his mother, and to have him as my son and my friend. It was a huge rush of good feelings.
That’s what’s so amazing about genuine moments of gratitude. We feel fantastic, and that energy we put out attracts more good things into our lives.
Gratitude Helps You Deal with the Negatives
When you have positive feelings and emotions in your body and your mind, you’re in a better frame of mind to cope when conflict arises. Having a positive outlook means you can bring your confidence to the table and feel good about dealing l with a difficult conversation.
You may also find that when you take the time to feel more appreciation in your life, things that might have been a conflict can actually disappear.
I want to encourage you over the next week or two to be on the lookout for those moments. Little moments that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Even if you’re having a really tough time. Whether it’s making a great connection with someone, or appreciating that a gorgeous sunset, there’s always room for gratitude.
Soak it in. Enjoy it. Look for moments to create more of that in your life.
I would love to hear how this works for you. Go out there and test it out, then report back. I bet you’ll find appreciation and gratitude in places you would have never expected it.
Take a moment to appreciate the little things, and you may be surprised how that positively impacts your ability to deal with conflict.