Hey! if you have the weekend off, you're just a couple of days away! Are you kicking butt and taking names in your pursuit of life? Have you made a conscious effort to make one small improvement? Are you working towards the best future you can have for yourself? If not, why not? Don't you deserve it?
Gratitude. Being thankful. Do you consciously search for reasons to be thankful? To feel and express gratitude? Practicing gratitude can be a form of meditation. In 12 step programs, you hear about gratitude, being grateful/thankful on a daily basis. A majority of successful people in recovery have some form of a gratitude practice they follow daily. For myself, I journal, or make a list of things I'm grateful for. Watch a nature program. Get out in nature. I took mom to the hospital the other day and the sun was just starting to come up. Being filled with awe, seeing something awe-inspiring causes deep feelings of gratefulness for me. Gratitude keeps me humble. One of my major relapse triggers is when I STOP my gratitude program.
How can I start a gratitude program? It's as easy as 3 simple steps. First a little background:
There have been many studies that have proven that gratitude makes us happier and healthier. Like any emotion, gratitude can't be forced but we CAN cultivate our thoughts so that gratitude is more likely to arise. Practicing gratitude helps create a HABIT where we focus on the positive in life.
Here's how to use this "5 Things" Gratitude Tool:
This tool can be done at any time, anywhere! Create a habit where you do it regularly eg.on waking up, before you go to sleep, on the subway home PLUS whenever you're having a challenging day!
1. Print this page out. (Tip: Spread the gratitude by printing a few copies & giving to friends/co-workers!)
2. Now think of just 5 things to be genuinely thankful or grateful for and write them on the hand below. Can't think of 5? Look around you and think smaller and smaller until you can come up with 5 things.
3. Now you know how to do this, the easiest and most environmentally friendly option is just to count on your fingers! To wrap-up, ask yourself, "How can I make this a regular habit?"
That's all there is to it. BUT you must come up with 5 things! I promise it will get easier and easier as you make this into a habit. This can become that "one small improvement".
And 1 more thing, before you go to bed, read your list from earlier that day.
Until next time.....