Gratitude can often be a tricky thing. There are times when we want what we don't or cannot have and many other times when we are just so down on ourselves and the situations in our lives that we cannot even fathom being grateful. Better yet, there are times when you have an abundance of love, blessings and a wonderful life, yet something small at work sets you off and you cannot imagine being kind to the person who wronged you.
Today I am sharing my tips for filling yourself with a grateful heart.
It may be time consuming, it may be difficult and out of the way but I promise you that once you volunteer and help someone who needs a hand or a hug, you will find gratitude. There are so many people in this world who do not have a hand to hold or a home to call their own and they so desperately need you to be there for them.
Volunteering can be such a simple task. You could start by donating the leftover catering from a party you held the evening before to the local shelter or lend a helping hand to an older woman crossing the street. Helping someone in need does not need to be difficult, it can be a simple task that will ignite huge amounts of change.
2. Do Sweat the Small Stuff
The little things are often what we take for granted. The sweet gesture of your husband cleaning the dishes. Your mom calling you just to check on you. The amazing new business book you read over the weekend. The five minutes you found for meditation, reading, a bubble bath or complete silence within your own backyard.
These tiny little offerings from the universe are often what we take for granted the most. Yes, we have a (fill in the blank): home, loved one, life, job, school, career, business, clothes, food etc. But what we don't often realize is that those little blessings also add up to something big.
3. Make a Gratitude List
Speaking of little things, I love writing lists. Particularly gratitude lists. Those little things I just spoke of are often hard to keep track of. I use fun apps on my phone such as The Gratitude Journal, & Thankful For, as well as the notepad on my iPhone and a journal I keep on me wherever I go.
I also post an article on my personal blog, called Magical Mondays, where I write a whole list of gratitude for my week behind and my week ahead. Gratitude for my busy and amazing life.
4. Have Technology-Free Tuesdays
My husband and I were discussing our childhood this past weekend. He is in complete amazement over the kinds of technology that is currently offered at our fingertips. He mentioned he was a bit scared to bring a child into this world knowing that they may not know what board games are.
I told him they will know board games, they will play outside and they will be encouraged to roll in mud (they are just clothes after all...) and we will implement something called no technology Tuesdays.
We decided to start this as a tradition for ourselves before we bring a little one into this world. Aside from work, Tuesdays will be a technology free evening. This means no TV, no video games, no Internet!
Doing this creates "extra time" in your life, as well as gets you out of the habit of constantly checking your Facebook, email or other social media updates. Does it really matter that Buffy went to Mexico or Sandy had a delicious dinner while you sat on the couch and snuggled in watching American Idol with your favorite blanket? No, It does not.
Take a moment to be present in your own life. Let go of the technology, and the overwhelm. Find balance. Be truly grateful for this moment, and begin creating your own gratitude lists.