In trying situations or troubling times, it can be difficult to focus on the positives. Right now as the global impact of COVID-19 is felt, our disrupted way of life may feel unsettling. For many, these are uncertain times- whether that be health-wise, financially or for those separated from loved ones with no real sense of when the situation will change. If you are experiencing these feelings, one of the best actions you can take expressing gratitude for what you do have- not focus on what you don’t. A life well-lived is one of gratitude and thankfulness, whatever the circumstances.
To help you incorporate gratitude in your daily routine, here are our 5 top tips:
1) Make gratitude part of your morning routine
By making gratitude the first thing you do, you are setting yourself up for a day in a positive mindset. This is incredibly easy to do- as soon as you open your eyes, tell yourself 3 things you are grateful for at that moment. It can be anything from ‘I’m grateful for my health’ to ‘I’m grateful for the roof I have over my head’. If you are currently in social isolation, you can also practice this with your loved one at the breakfast table. Doing this allows you to focus on the positives in your life even when the circumstances surrounding you can feel so desperate. The more you practice this, the more it will become a part of your daily routine.
2) Learn to find gratitude in challenging times
This one is particularly important right now. The key thing here is to seek gratitude in the amount of compassion people are demonstrating throughout the coronavirus crisis. This could be the incredible job the NHS is doing to support the sick and the ‘clap for carers’ scheme, or people donating food to help those in need, to those following lockdown requirements to keep the most vulnerable safe. Be grateful for the kindness in the world- it is there if you know where to look.
You can also try digging deeper into some of your past challenging experiences: How did you overcome them? How have they made you into the person you are today? What have you learnt from them?
3) Keep a gratitude journal
If you are struggling to keep thoughts positive, or don’t have the confidence to express yourself out loud, writing down your daily gratitude can be useful. Why not keep a journal of things to be thankful for? You can start by writing down 3 points in the morning and add to your journal throughout the day. In the evening, review what you have written to help refer back to the positives in your life. Putting pen to paper is a great way to consciously think about the words you are writing without entertaining other negative, distracting thoughts.
4) Express gratitude to others
Expressing gratitude is particularly effective when done directly. This can either be with the people you are social isolating with or by phone, email etc. to those you aren’t able to see right now. Think about who you are grateful for: perhaps write them an email- how have they positively impacted your life? Likewise, you can practice this by writing a gratitude letter in your journal to an individual you don’t know personally but who has influenced your life. Maybe an author has inspired you to become a writer or a musician has written a song which got you through a tough time etc.
5) Take nothing for granted
Take a moment to think who or what you may be taking for granted. We can easily neglect what is important- for example health or home life. Some people aren’t in such a fortunate position. Try to pause and be thankful for the opportunity to live another day, to have the choice to make the most of the day and enjoy life. Utilize the time you are allowed to spend outside to connect with nature. Despite everything, it is still there and enables us to connect to something bigger than ourselves
What are you grateful for right now? We would love to hear from you: https://www.choicesretreats.com