Given the lightning speed we go on practically everyday, it is but natural to feel tired and stressed from time to time. In times like these, what (or who) is in your hands to control?
The simplest thing to do to manage our stress is to move our attention from things that trouble us to things that boost us. Studies have shown that developing our sense of gratitude helps raise our mood, focus, self-esteem, will power, long term health, and even level of success.
Here are a number of things you can do to help develop your sense of gratitude:
Keep a list of the things you’re grateful for. Yes, literally count your blessings. You can keep a journal to document all the positive things that happen to you. After some time, you’ll see just how much good has accumulated.
Start the day on a positive note. When you wake up in the morning, make a promise to yourself that “this day will be a good day.” Make a mental note of the things that you look forward to for this day. It is up to you to set the tone.
Be alert to the goodness all around you. Isn’t it so easy to spot the negative things happening in your life? You see it right away, as soon as it happens! Try shifting that attention to the positive things around you. “That strong rain is just so refreshing after a really hot, dry week!”
Perform random acts of kindness. Be someone else’s reason to be grateful. Practice random acts of kindness that would make another person’s day better. Let that mom carrying her child go first at the grocery checkout line. Smile at the person waiting with you at the doctor’s clinic. It may seem like a small act, but it may be just what that other person needs to get through his day.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Given the rise of technology, picture taking is very accessible these days. And yes, we do take advantage of that all the time! But what happens to that selfie after you’ve taken it and posted it on Instagram? It doesn’t have to end there. Keep your favorite happy pictures in a folder on your phone so you can take a look at them anytime to help make you smile.
Difficult times will always happen. We can’t help that. What we can do, however, is make sure that we have enough gratitude deposited into our system, so that we can withdraw some when times get hard.