Autumn is definitely upon us all of a sudden! The new season has hit us in the Southern Hemisphere which means darker nights and cooler, crazier weather. Or for you lucky people in the Northern Hemisphere spring is on its way. A new season feels like a good time to reflect, 2015 seems to be just flying by and I am guilty of letting things get on top of me, as much as I like being busy I sometimes forget about looking after myself and appreciating the little things. Looking back at those resolutions I wrote down at the beginning of the year the big one for me was to practice gratitude on a daily basis. How did I plan to do this? Here are some of my ideas which can also help you to achieve an attitude of gratitude.
The gratitude journal app is a great tool, you can set reminders on your phone which ask you “what are you grateful for today?” I set the reminder for each evening and I reflect back on the day and whether it was a good or bad there is always something to write down and give thanks for. Ending the day on a positive note is pretty important for me and also helps towards a restful sleep and a feeling of contentment about life right now.
Dr Suess said it well “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”. Having this journal to go back and read through is a positive reminder especially on those tougher days, the beauty of life and the moments you may have forgotten about can bring a smile to your face and happiness in your heart.
As well as this app I came across the idea of creating a gratitude mandala, a Mandala is a form of art, the word means circle and for this purpose the circle is created using words.
Start by writing the words “I am Grateful for” in the middle of your page, this is the hub of your mandala and the answers to the following questions in the form of words span out from the centre:
- Who do you treasure most in your life?
- What makes your life abundant?
- What activities bring you joy?
- What are the experiences that make you thankful?
- What is it in your life that you can’t live without?
I am quite a visual person and I love brainstorming ideas so this was a great exercise for me to do. It gives you a nice warm, fuzzy feeling writing down all the lovely things that exist in your life that you can be thankful for, be as creative as you want and have fun with it. Then place it up on the wall or on the fridge and even add things to it when you think of them. I would love to see your creations in the comments section, I had about 20 arms on my mandala but I’m sure I could of kept going and going.
You can also get creative with a form of word art, I just discovered the website Tagxedo which you can create awesome images out of words from blog posts, websites and more, the words that are repeated the most are shown in larger font, give it a go it’s pretty fun!
Another practice you can put into place on a daily basis is simply show your appreciation for the things and people in your life, be kinder than necessary on all occasions. Use the normal checkout at the supermarket and chat to the person scanning your groceries, thank the person who helps you put petrol in your car (seems to be rare these days!), and make eye contact with people you interact with daily. When you ask them how they are, wait for the answer and be present, if they want to talk about it, listen, and give that person something to be grateful for in their day, be that friendly ear.
Hopefully this has given you something to think about, you may have many things on your New Years Resolutions list but don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t achieved them yet, it is better to aim high and dream big than not dream at all.