A Thankful Thursday
The single greatest thing a person can do to improve their outlook on life and live more happily is to practice gratitude.
Sure, it's easier to think of all the things that we lack rather than to appreciate just how lucky we are. But while we're wishing for more money or bigger breasts or whatever else, we're missing out on all of the amazing things that we do have. We can't see what's right in front of us! And the sad part is that it's a never-ending cycle. More often than not, once we finally achieve the object of our desires, we usually start wanting something else.
Of course, this isn't always wrong. When it comes to long-term goals, it's good to have bigger dreams on the horizon in order to keep pushing yourself and having a deeper purpose in life. But what we don't realize is that there are so many things to love right now.
Taking the time on a daily or weekly basis to account for all of the things that you're thankful for will truly bring more light into your life. Gratitude is a powerful thing- when you shine that light onto others, you'll brighten their lives as well. Just try it!
Here are a few ideas of how to practice gratitude:
+ Create a journal where you write in three experiences that you are thankful for each day. You could write about a moment in your day that made you laugh, a thoughtful errand that your boyfriend ran for you, or any multitude of things. Relive the moment in your head as you're writing about it and bask in its warmth.
+ Think of 5 people that have impacted your life positively and write them a letter (or email) of gratitude. It can be signed or anonymous- completely your call! Just open up, and thank them for what they've meant to your life.
+ Make a vision board of things that make you happy and thankful to exist. Get a poster sheet and paste on pictures of inspiring role models, family members, favorite hobbies, beautiful places, delicious foods, and everything that makes you come alive. Place it somewhere that you'll see it often and be reminded of all the wonderful things that surround you.
+ Consider all of the meaningful life experiences that you've had and then commit to helping a child or teenager reach those same goals. For instance, one of the biggest positive influences in my life was getting to be an exchange student in Germany for a year during high school. Now, to help, I could volunteer to support current exchange students when they're experiencing culture shock or feeling homesick. In this way, I would show my gratitude by giving back.
+ Practice being present and mindful of your surroundings. Silently or vocally say "thank you" to anything that makes your heart swell with joy. I'll often say "thank you" to life and nature when I witness a gorgeous sunset or am enjoying perfect weather. Other times I'm overcome with happiness by something my boyfriend does, and I thank him for being such an awesome guy. People love being shown appreciation, and so does the universe! When you openly show your love and gratitude, you will be given more in return.
So what are some of the things you're thankful for? How do you practice gratitude? Please let me know in the comments below!
Besides all of the usual characters in my life that I feel gratitude for, I want to thank my friend, Claire Diana Photography, for doing an amazing photography shoot with me this past fall and providing me with the awesome pictures of myself on this website. She really helped me get the style I was looking for, and I had so much fun at the same time! Check out her FB page while she redoes her website for more examples of her work. I would seriously recommend contacting her for anything from weddings to portrait sessions!
Sending you all tons of gratitude for reading my blog,