Sunday, March 24, 2013

What Went Well?

I found an article stashed away in my email from November.  When I started this blog, I was really into sharing positivity and making everyone's lives (including mine) a little brighter.  I know I have been a little down lately, so I need to indulge in a positive read.  It actually came from my work's homepage, so I'm not allowed to share/link it, but their words came from the book Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Every Day of Your Life by M.J. Ryan

The idea is practicing "thanks-giving" throughout the year.  I am a person who is obnoxious about saying thank waiters, co-workers, anyone.  But the article focuses more on being thankful for what you have.  I've always liked the saying (which comes in many forms) "It's not having what you want, but wanting what you have."  And sometimes it becomes REALLY difficult to step back and be thankful for the things you DO have.  But remember, there is always someone out there who is much happier with way less.  And when you think like always gets a little more rosy.  

We have these words of inspiration in our bathroom.
  • I feel good about ...
  • I am grateful for ...
  • People who brightened my life today ...
  • What I did to brighten someone else’s life ...
The article suggests having a Gratitude Journal (or Word document, nerds!) and completing phrases such as:
Many of us probably do this subconsciously, but I think that writing it down will really give you a greater sense of thankfulness, gratitude, and happiness.  Try to take time at least once a week to sit down without distractions and write down a few instances, memories, or even goals.  

It also talks about slowing down.  Which I know it realllllly hard for a lot of us.  Take the time to enjoy someone's smile, your favorite song, a cup of tea, the smell of your clean clothes, leaves falling from trees, a bird singing.  You get the drift.  The idea is...really take in everything you experience.  Some people don't see the light of day, some people don't have a job, family, friends.  We are all really lucky in a lot of ways.  And I know for me, it's easy to get greedy/jealous/etc and not be extremely grateful for ALL of the amazing people and things I have in my life.  I am so lucky!

One suggestion I really liked from the article was to stop and ask yourself:  "What went well in the past hour?"  I think this is going to be a new goal of mine.  It is so simple!  Stopping at least once a day and acknowledging the positives that have happened in the past hour.  Simple, easy, beneficial.  Plus, it might make it easier for you to get through a tough day.  

Any act of thankfulness, kindness, or gratitude will in turn make you feel better.   Giving is getting.  Smile, laugh, love.  

Get out there this week, start your gratitude journal, say thank you, enjoy your moments, and always keep thinking...
What went well?

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