I found this exercise in a book on Zen living; it’s one of my favorites. Just take a notebook and start writing down the things you’re grateful for. Start with the obvious and work from there. Easy, huh?
Be grateful for having food, water, and a roof above your head. Simple, right? If you woke up at 5 A.M. and can’t go back to sleep, be grateful for getting to see the sunrise. If you’re facing a challenge, be grateful for the opportunity to learn from it. I can’t help but learn something new all the time. Sometimes the lesson is painful. but it is a lesson none the less.
You don’t have to write every day, but make sure you open your journal at least once a week. It can be very easy to indulge in self-pity, blame, and anger, but appreciating what you have will help you stay positive.
Things Get Better
When you’re struggling, grieving, or suffering from heartache… the pain can feel unbearable. Even in everyday life, the weight of a little things can be heavy indeed.
But always remember the Proverb: “This too shall pass.” Your negative feelings won’t last forever. I have learned from experience that there really is a light at the end of every tunnel. It might not happen today or tomorrow, but you’ll feel better eventually.
When you understand and accept the tumultuous nature of life, it’s a lot easier to stay calm and relaxed – even in the hardest of times.
Mental List of Awesomeness
Having healthy self-esteem keeps anxiety at bay, improves personal relationships, and encourages optimism. If you don’t appreciate yourself enough – or are feeling down – try making a mental list of “awesome” stuff you’ve done recently.
Example: Went for a jog/ walk… instead of watching TV, helped a friend, made an excellent presentation at work. etc. etc. Make a written list if you want and don’t be modest!
You’ll find that, as you go over your good/healthy actions (which also are A-W-E-S-O-M-E) and choices, you start to feel great about yourself. It’s hard not to when you remind yourself how amazing you are! Hey, if we’re not going to cheer ourselves on… then who?
What’s The Worst That Could Happen?
It’s easy to become worried over the little things: the human mind can blow things way, way out of proportion. I personally am guilty of that. To stop that from happening, always ask yourself: what’s the worst that could happen?
Chances are, “The worst” isn’t that bad. You’ll still be fine if you don’t ace tomorrow’s presentation/ test. You may get into an argument with your significant other, but usually there’s a meeting of the minds and things actually improve in the relationship. You get the idea.
Sure, it would be better if things went according to plan, but sometimes they don’t. When you’re no longer afraid of any outcome, you can focus on having fun and getting things done. Don’t wind yourself up for no reason!
Reach Out and Help Someone
We live in a culture that encourages self-centeredness. Even our buzzwords: self-help, self-promotion, self-esteem – reflect our obsession with this. But if you want to feel great… then try “giving” to someone else!
Donate a few dollars to charity; it can change someone’s life. Pick up trash on your walk at home or on the beach; it’s respect for Nature and fellow Man… and everyone wins. Call a long spoken to friend/ relative, if even for a few minutes, it will make his/her week. Buy food for a local Food Bank. The list is lengthy.
Simple, simple things mean so much.
It takes very little to help someone out. When you make a big difference with just a few minutes – or dollars – you’ll always remember how important and amazing you are. And with an attitude like that, it’s hard to be anything but positive!