Living with gratitude is at the heart of the 12 Principles of Wellness. I love this quote from Hall of Fame baseball player Wade Boggs:
“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.”
Wouldn’t it be inspiring to take a moment to truly appreciate all of the wonderful things you’re blessed to have in your life?! Too many times individuals have this “grass is always greener on the other side” attitude and it really deflects from recognizing all of life’s bounties. Positive thinking also has a tremendous impact on your overall health. Whether it is your family, children, friends, pets, memorable experiences, mission, etc., we all have much to be grateful. Here’s a few ways to use this principle to light a fire of happiness inside you every day and give you a positive outlook on life, filled with endless possibilities!!!
- Keep a Gratitude Journal. Every morning write down at least three things you’re grateful for and repeat this practice before bedtime. What amazing things happened to you that day?! This will create a positive mindset that will overtime transform your outlook on life. You can even create a scrapbook and add photos.
- Gratitude App. Download the Gratitude app on your smart phone and keep track each day of all the things that bring you joy. You can snap photos and capture special moments. And for all you social media junkies, share it on Facebook or Instagram with your friends. ;).
- Gratitude Walk. Go for a walk and see how many positive things you can find: the smell of freshly baked goods coming from your favorite bakery, flowers growing on a window sill, a blue sky, dogs or kids playing in the park, a local farmer’s market, etc. My sister and her husband go on strolls all over their neighborhood and have a blast exploring the little things.
- Gratitude Trigger. Place an object somewhere in your house or workspace, which will remind you to feel grateful each time you look at it. It can be a little sign with your favorite quote, picture of a loved one or a favorite painting. I like to change up my screen savers at work to reflect a happy moment. I currently have a loveable picture of my Dad from an amazing day we spent together recently at Discovery Cove.
- Gratitude Letter. Write a letter to someone who has exerted a positive influence in your life. This can be a former teacher or mentor, even a parent or grandparent. The letter doesn’t have to be long, but be specific about what the person did and how it affected you. You can even extend this practice further and read the letter in person.
- Give Back. Nothing produces more gratitude than helping others in need. Volunteer for a cause that’s close to your heart or simply be kind to your fellow men and women. Holding the door for a stranger or asking the barista how her day is going, usually gets met with a smile and warming of the heart.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
~ Robert Brault