How a gratitude routine can improve your resilience and make you happier
If you follow people who talk about wellness on social media, I bet you read posts everyday that mentions #gratitude. I confess that when I started seeing those, I thought it just was another trend, like green juice or mindfulness, and I didn't bother to pay attention to it. Well, as divas, we have a hard time following the crew, as we pave our own path.
This changed, when I was going through stressful times at work, as I mentioned before. I ditched my own skepticism and started a gratitude routine that has helped me to keep a positive mindset throughout the chaos.
Starting the day in the right tone
Before I get up from bed, I think about the big things I am thankful for (like my health, family and so on).
Closing the day with a positive balance
By the end of my day, I write in my gratitude journal all my 'happy moments'. Such moments are ordinary, like being able to exercise, eating a good meal, having a stress free day at work. And they truly make my routine special. When I started, sometimes it was hard thinking about good moments in not so good days, but I have always resisted to the temptation of writing about frustrating experiences. A few months on, and it was natural to look for the positive side of every situation.
Now I want to share with you how having a gratitude routine for one year has changed my life for the better:
1 - The glass is always full: by creating the habit of reviewing my day with positive lenses, I have also kept the positive vibe throughout my day. In other words, when some adverse situation happens, I automatically think about the positive side of it, what prevents me from overreacting and engaging on arguments that will not contribute to solve the issue.
2 - When you compete with yourself, you always win: by now I know very well what makes me happy and what doesn't and I always try to have a positive balance by the end of the day. So, whenever my day is not moving smoothly, I start adding moments that will make me happy (even going for a walk during a lunch break helps), so I always have good things to write about in my journal by end of the day. As this behavior becomes a routine, it's rare to let a bad day hit you as you can turn it into a good day as it goes.
3 - Be patient: patience is not a natural virtue, so I have worked to develop it throughout the past few years. Yoga, meditation and gratitude routine are really helping me on this journey. Whenever I need to hold on to make changes or I need to wait for others people's decisions to move on, I take a deep breath and nurture myself with positive energy, so I can patiently wait. It's not easy to be in this state of mind. I am a driver and very active, so 'sitting and waiting' makes me feel that I am wasting my time. But I have learned, the hard way, that some situations take time to be resolved, and if I eliminate the anxiety from the process, I get better (and faster) outcomes.
One year ago, I had a challenging project - long hours in a unexciting topic. This month I got a similar project, but I didn't get frustrated, unhappy or let work affect my life or the loved ones around me. I thank my shift in mindset completely to my gratitude routine. As I have carried a positive mindset throughout the project, my performance improved, as I am focusing on the part of the work that I like (the glass half full). The part I don't like that much, I just get done as fast and efficiently I can, and I move on.
An important part of the journey is to express gratitude to people who help you to improve life. I am great at saying 'thank you' to colleagues from work and bragging to their supervisors about their accomplishments. I can definitely do better with family and friends, who are the most important people in my life. One of my New Year's resolution will be sending physical thank you notes (yes, because it feels great to receive a handwritten card nowadays) more often to people around me who make my life better.
So, if you are reading this post, THANK YOU! I hope it helps you to start or continue a gratitude cycle that fits your lifestyle.
Share your gratitude habits with our fellow divas by leaving a comment here or on Twitter @ideasfordivas.