Tag Archives: grateful

Gratitude Isn’t Just for Thanksgiving

This article is by Ali Katz from AtoZenMeditation.com

We all make a very big deal about being grateful on Thanksgiving, as we should. We have the day off, we are surrounded by loved ones, and we are enjoying a delicious meal together. Sounds pretty good to me! But what happens when the holiday is over?

Practicing gratitude enriches our lives in many ways all year long, like making us more humble, more content, less judgmental, more encouraging, less of a gossip, and it even makes us healthier by boosting our immune system.

When we practice gratitude we are putting our attention on positive things in our life, which makes them feel bigger than our problems. There is nothing too big or too small to feel grateful for. I think there is a misconception that practicing gratitude is only for the big, profound things in life like our health and a roof over our heads. Those are for sure things to be grateful for, and I am every day, but gratitude can extend to every part of your life as well. Goals made at a game, good grades, your favorite foods, a great book, or maybe an upcoming family vacation are wonderful things to express gratitude for.

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Click to Tweet: When we’re grateful we’re putting our attention on positive things, which makes them feel bigger than problems. @AliKatz76 @jenilyn8705

There are many simple ways to bring gratitude into your every day:

Open your eyes and say thank you

I try to remember to make my first words of the day “thank you.” When I open my eyes I silently give thanks for another opportunity to put my best foot forward and live my very best life.

Keep a simple gratitude journal

I suggest people keep a small pad next to their toothbrush and when you brush your teeth in the morning and evening, write down one thing you are grateful for.

If you don’t like to write, put a sticky note on your mirror that says “gratitude” and whenever you look at it think of something you are grateful for.

Have a family gratitude journal

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is when everyone goes around the table and says what they are thankful for. It is such a special, bonding experience to share as a family. So why not do it more? Place a small journal on your dining table, and at family meals record what everyone is grateful for that day. Include the big things and the little things!

Put a reminder on your phone

As important as gratitude is to me, I need to be reminded to pause during my busy day for a gratitude break. Every day at 3 pm a reminder goes off on my phone that says “gratitude is my attitude.” I stop what I am doing, take a few long, deep breaths and think of something I am grateful for.

Shift your perspective

Even in the midst of trying times I think about what I am learning and how this experience is helping me to grow as a person. Doing this turns many challenges into wins.

Make a stress/gratitude list

When I am feeling overwhelmed I often take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle creating two columns. One side is for stress and the other gratitude. I begin by making a list of everything I am stressed about. Valid or ridiculous, I include it all. When I am finished I then move to the gratitude side and write two things I am grateful for for each item on the stress side. So if I am stressed about ten things, I will write 20 that I am grateful for.

This does two things. The first is that it acknowledges our stress. We don’t want to pretend it isn’t there or sweep it under the rug. It is important to admit how we are feeling in the moment. But then we have an beautiful visual to see that even though we have stress in our lives, we have so much more to be grateful for.

I believe that the more we practice gratitude, the more the Universe gives us to be grateful for, so get started today!

Ali Katz is a self-care coach for women, a meditation expert and author of the best-selling book “Hot Mess to Mindful Mom.” Visit her at www.atozenmeditation.com and be sure to grab her 8 best tips for sleep!

3 Essential Mindset Shifts to Living a Life You Love

Lately I’ve been on a kick in learning all about manifestation and happiness.  Reading books, listening to lectures, hearing about various meditations to try, and so on.

The motivation to really learn about all this has been coming from this deep inner frustration about one thing in my life.  So many other areas of my life I’ve been able to shift and make better, but in one area, for some reason, I’ve continued to feel stuck in this cycle that I’ve been unable to bust out of.

So, I figured, learning more about manifestation and achieving happiness in life would be beneficial.  In this process, I’ve come to several profound lessons where I have been able to feel some drastic shifts very quick.  So here are 3 essential mindset shifts that I think can really help us all live a life we love:

#1 – Realize that it’s not (and never has been) about where you are, but how you view it.

That shitty apartment your living in?  That toxic work environment?  That friend or family member that’s driving you crazy?  Sure, it makes things more challenging…

… but it shouldn’t be preventing you from experiencing happiness.

This was one of my first realizations upon moving to Korea and it’s taken quite a while for it to fully sink in:

It’s not about where you are in life, but about what you’re doing with what you have right now.

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Click to Tweet: It’s not about where you are in life, but about what you’re doing with what you have right now. via @jenilyn8705

If you’re pessimistic and bitter, then of course you’re going to be unhappy.  And sure, you can go ahead and start dating someone else or move out of the country, but nothing is going to change unless you do.  You’ll continue to carry those inner negative feelings everywhere you go until you decide, “Hey, I don’t want to feel that way anymore!”  So change your perspective.

#2 – Gratitude connects you to your soul. 

Always focusing on what we don’t have in life is very draining and keeps our minds locked into this state of fear and lack.  No miracles can emerge out of this if because it makes us blind from seeing the real opportunities that we have available.  It causes us to be trying to swim against the tide rather than to float along with it and trust.

So take some time each day in meditation to stop and connect to what you are grateful for.  Identify one thing — and it doesn’t have to be complicated.  This may be a person in your life, the fact that you have steady income, a pet, or the place you are living.  It could even be something super simple like the fact that the sun came up today or that there are birds chirping outside your window.

In meditation, visualize that person, place or thing that you are grateful for in your mind’s eye and then allow yourself to really feel the gratitude.  The shifts really happen from feeling, because it takes us out of our mind and into our hearts.  So be sure to really tune into that feeling and, overtime, you’ll begin to notice some definite shifts in your life.

#3 – Feel the way you want to feel right now rather than wait for something in your life to change.

A story I came across fairly recently was of a woman who had had a baby and was living on government assistance because her and her husband could barely afford basic cost of living.  Her husband ended up taking a job working at a place like UPS several states away because they were desperate for any money at all.

In her story she said that, while this situation didn’t appear so great on the outside on the inside she felt really truly happy.  She was enjoying life and really truly grateful for where she was at.  As a result, within just a few months she started a new work endeavor and ended up earning enough money in her new work that her husband was able to quit his job and move back with family.

The main lesson?  To start feeling what you want to feel “someday in the future” right now.

When I first heard this story my mind initially went to a fear-based thought of, “But if I feel all that joy and happiness right now, then maybe I won’t really do any actions to make changes in my life.  I’ll just be happy and stagnant”.

Clearly, this thought is really just a bunch of bullshit.

Because the second I decided to start feeling the way I’d like to feel “someday” I found myself feeling strong and confident in making decisions.  I started to feel more in-tune with my own intuition so I more clearly knew which direction I needed to take for myself.

So be grateful and choose to feel those feelings of happiness, joy, love, or whatever it is that you’d like to feel “someday” today, then simply be open for miracles.

Take action now!

Close your eyes and ask yourself: How would I like to feel “someday”?  Connect with that feeling in this present moment, then describe that feeling in the comments below!

7 Ways to Start Your Journey Toward Self-Love

For many of us, we could all use some help in the self-love department.  Our own level of self-love can be detrimental to our success in relationships, career, health, and overall well-being.

Here are 7 ways to start your journey toward self-love:

#1 – Do mindfulness practices.

To be mindful means to be tuned-in to your own thoughts, emotions, and needs.  Many of us struggle with this because we can get so caught up in all of the things going on outside of ourselves that we forget to stop and tune in to our own experience.

To practice mindfulness is a lifelong journey and can be challenging at times, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.  A few ways to practice mindfulness include:

– Focusing intently on the present moment while doing an activity, such as while doing the dishes, cleaning, driving, cooking, or working.

– Taking moments throughout the day to tune-in to how you are feeling in your body.  Check in to see where there is tension, aches, fluttery sensations, and more.

– Taking breaks throughout the day to take deep breaths for a few minutes through your diaphragm.

If you want to start doing well at self-love, then start practicing mindfulness every single day.  The more mindful we are, then the more successful we will become in our self-love practice.

#2 – Nourish your body.

Ask yourself: What have I been eating?  What have you been eating at home for dinner?  What places do you eat at?  How much sugar do you consume?  How many processed foods do you consume daily or weekly?  What are you drinking during the day?  Do you drink sugary drinks or alcohol and, if so, how much of it weekly?

While I don’t definitely don’t think there is a “one size fits all” diet for everybody, I do think it is important for us to focus on how the the things we put into our body affect how we feel.  What foods make you feel sluggish?  What foods give you energy?  What foods make you feel lighter?

Discovering what foods work best for you and your body can be a journey, so try out a few different diets and discover what works best for you.

#3 – Move your body.

Find time every day to move your body each day.  Go for a walk.  Get up away from your desk and stretch.  Take up a new exercise that you’ve always wanted to try.

#4 – Do things that feed your soul.

What things do you feel passionate about?  What activities light you up?  Do you love performing music?  Do you love dancing?  Do you love writing?  Do you love cooking?  Whatever it is, be sure to find time to do it.  The more we do things that feed our soul, then the more we become connected to our soul.

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Click to Tweet: The more we do things that feed our soul, then the more we become connected to our soul. via @jenilyn8705

#5 – Write a list of all the things you love about yourself.

This activity can be very transformational, especially if we are dealing with relationship issues, self-esteem issues, or depression.

Get a journal and put it by your bed.  Every night before you go to sleep write down at least 2 things that you love about yourself.  Overtime, you will definitely notice a shift.

#6 – Become the master of your own self-care.

When you notice that you are hungry, be sure to make it a priority to feed yourself.  When you notice that you are tired, be sure to rest or make time to get extra sleep.  Be sure to give yourself time and space to disconnect from other people’s stress.  Be sure to set healthy boundaries by saying “no” or setting a limit to things that you know are going to greatly deplete your energy.

#7 – Be grateful for the things you do for yourself.

In your journal that you keep by your bed, write down all of the things that you are thankful that you did for yourself at the end of every day.  Bringing gratitude to our self-love practice will bring fuel to to it in a way so that we can become even better in our own self-love.

Take action now!

In the comments below, share at least one thing that you are going to do today to start your journal toward self-love.

3 Ways to Bring More Love into Your Life

We all want happiness, fulfillment, and love in our lives.  It’s the one thing our souls strive for, yet, for some reason, it seems so much easier said then done.

For many of us, it seems that there is always something in the way that prevents us from finding love.  Always finding the “wrong” people to date, not feeling supported by friends or family, or simply feeling a lack of passion or purpose in life.

What we often fail to realize is that love isn’t something that is going to come from finding something outside of ourselves — the “right” partner, perfectly loving and supportive family and friends, or a career that you’re truly passionate for.

In fact, it doesn’t come through finding anything.  Rather, it comes from taking actionable steps in your life to create more love into your life.  So here are three ways to help bring more love into your life:

Savor each moment.

Love is everywhere.  It is all around us — in the morning dew, in a warm breeze, in the sweet smell of jasmine flowers, in a piece of art, and so on.  Take the time each day to really focus on these things and take in the enjoyment of it.

When we allow ourselves to really focus intensely in the present moment, we can open ourselves to unlimited joy, happiness, and love.

Express Gratitude.

Make it a daily habit to be appreciative about everything — food, shelter, plants, books, friends, a job, a car, and whatever else.  To be appreciative is a loving action, so when we put forth the action step to express our gratitude we, in turn, acknowledge the love that is within us.

Gradually, over time of expressing more and more gratitude, we end up finding more love in our lives because we have been giving the loving action of thankfulness.

So you may want to start every day or end every day with writing down a list of things you are grateful for.  Another option would be to mentally say, “Universe, thank you for ______” (or using whatever language you prefer) every time something happens in your life that you are appreciative of.

Give without needs.

Often times when we feel as if we’ve been giving too much it’s because, deep down, it’s coming from a place of fear.  We give and then feel like we haven’t gotten anything in return because there’s this feeling that “Something is being taken away from me” or to be quickly focusing on what one is getting rather than to really focus on the joy of giving.

When we let go of any expectations, shift our mindset to “I am good enough and it’s okay for me to be big in the world” and release any fears of vulnerability and rejection, we can then allow ourselves to give from a place of genuine love.

A great place to start with this is to donate your time to a cause or to do some kind of work that can help those in very challenging situations.  For instance, you may want to volunteer at an orphanage or help kids with special needs.  It could also be something simple like helping an old lady cross the street or giving something to a co-worker in time of need.

And you know the extra bonus to volunteering or doing work for a special cause?  It can actually become easier to be grateful — which is exactly one other thing we need to bring more love into our lives!

Ultimately, remember this:  Love isn’t something to look and search for.  It’s something that we open ourselves to.  It’s a matter of finding the love that is already within us and expressing that out into the world so that we can create the love in our lives that we desire.

Bring more love

Click to Tweet: Love isn’t something to seek out. Rather, it is something we must choose to open ourselves to. via @jenilyn8705

Create more love in your life today!

In the comments below, list three things that you are grateful for in your life right now.