Hello friends! How are we all doing this chilly January afternoon?
Today's post is all about being thankful, or grateful... whatever you want to call it. Last year I read this amazing book, Calm by Michael Acton Smith, (Yes, I know, I'm mentioning it again... Check this post out if you want to know more) and on a few of the pages, it encouraged you to write down three things you're grateful for.
I kept this up for about a week. But the thought behind it is still relevant; in order to be more happy, or more calm, or whatever, we need to look at our attitudes; starting with being more thankful.
But what is there to be thankful for?
Plenty. What about that warm mug of chocolate you just had when you came in from work, or the warm blanket that drapes your body as you fall asleep surrounded by warmth, because your heating works and your house isn't as cold as the outside world. What about those amazing scented candles you bought last week, or even the money you bought them with. What about the wonderful time you had at Christmas last year? The internet you're using to read this post, the tablet, phone, or laptop that you're using to read it, or the place you're in right now reading it. There's so much to be grateful for, and all you really need to do is stop to take a few seconds to appreciate the things and people that you have all around you.
But how can I be more thankful?
Some people find it easy to adopt a grateful attitude, but some people -like me- will dive right into everything you can do to be more grateful, and then forget about it all and continue living life as previously.
Some people find it useful to keep a gratitude journal, where you record 3-5 things that you're thankful every day, whereas others may practice mindfulness, which is all about living life in the moment. I've heard of some people making a gratitude board, which I'm guessing is much like the motivation, dream, or disaster boards that you'll find dotted around social media. One of my favourite things to do is to surround myself with inspirational thoughts and motivational quotes. It's not hard to find quotes, with apps like pintrest, tumblr, and weheartit, so there's really no excuse... Personally, I find that I remember things more if I write them down, so I have a little book full of quotes (I'm at number 1164 right now woop woop!)
Now, it's all fine and dandy to do loads of stuff to make yourself more thankful, but in my experience, doing things only really helps in the short term. If you're truly interested in being more thankful, you need to turn your thinking around. That's part of what mindfulness is, really- you're required to be more mindful, to live in the moment.
Turning your thinking around starts with you learning to control your thoughts. Plenty of people will feed you the lie that you have no control of your thoughts, but as I just said; it's a lie. If you find yourself repeating negative thoughts, stop. Stop comparing yourself to other people; you're your own person. Filter what you take in, too. If you're constantly around negative people, their attitude is going to rub off on you whether you like it or not, and the same can be said about the kind of blogs you read, or movies you watch.
Helping others is another key way of turning your thinking around. You might be sitting there thinking hey, it's another thing to add on to my to-do list but honestly, it doesn't have to be. Sending someone a quote that inspired you this week can encourage and uplift other people. Helping your next door neighbour by inviting her over for a meal can make her feel loved and cared for. Baking (or buying) a packet of muffins for the new family on your block can make them feel wanted and welcome. And by helping others, and seeing the impact you have on other peoples lives, you'll start to see a positive change in the way you see the world, and your attitude overall.
What are you thankful for?