Slow Down. Take Time to Appreciate Your Life
Are you making it your personal goal to close out the year with an Attitude of Gratitude? This is a perfect activity to broaden your mindset and invite more positivity into your life during the Thanksgiving season.
One way to have an attitude of gratitude is by practicing purposeful living. This can be one of the hardest things to do, especially in our fast-paced world where electronics seem to make demands on us every second of every day.
Remember that you are allowed to shut out the constant clamoring of a demanding life. In fact – it’s really bad for your health not to.
Below, find some stress statistics from Statistic Brain:
|U.S. Stress Statistics||Data|
|Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress||77 %|
|Regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress||73 %|
|Feel they are living with extreme stress||33 %|
|Feel their stress has increased over the past five years||48 %|
The key to slowing down is by committing to the following:
Stop allowing technology to rule your life. Decide when it’s time to check email and messages, not the other way around. Don’t fall into the trap of liking and adding emoticons to everything you see on social media. Go for quality, not quantity, in your online communication.
Learn to say “no.” When we try to please everybody, we end up pleasing no one, least of all ourselves. Quality suffers. We make more mistakes, and we find ourselves spread too thin which is frustrating. If your commitments have begun to seem more like a burden and a hassle than a way to give of yourself in a way that feels good and rewarding, that means you’ve overbooked yourself. You’ll find joy in your life’s work when you take the time to do things right, and say no to all the rest.
Give your mate, children and friends the gift of your full attention. Look people in the eyes as they’re speaking to you. Listen to their whole story without giving in to the urge to interrupt. Even if you’re someplace like the park, or a restaurant, where attention is often divided, put down your phone. Being stuck in the virtual world of social media and online information is exactly the opposite of staying fully present.
Spend time in nature, every day. If you have a dog, take him or her outside for a walk, maybe even two of them. It doesn’t have to be a long excursion, just 15 minutes around the block is all you need. When you have a few hours of free time, head to the park or take a hike down a sunlit path through the woods. Don’t be one of those people who hears the weather report and decides to hole up indoors under artificial light. A little rain, cold and snow is good for the body and soul. Be grateful for the goodness of our planet.
Exercise 3: Slow Down. Find Ways to Be Grateful.
Learning to live in the moment is the key to being grateful. Stop rushing. Instead, breathe. Open your mind to the many delicious sensations of a single experience.
If you find it difficult to slow down, you may need a release of some sort to clear your head and allow you to focus. Engage in some light stretching, do yoga, or go for a short jog to help relieve stress.
After you’ve exercised, enjoy a cool and refreshing drink of water. Then, allow your mind to take you on leisurely journey of the senses.
To do this, pick a single experience. It might be heading to the park with your small child. Children are naturally gifted at staying in the present. It could be playing ball with your dog in the backyard. Maybe it’s just doing something by yourself, like sitting by a quiet stream and simply relaxing with your thoughts.
Whatever you do, take time to notice everything. Open your eyes and ears. Tune in your sense to the world around you.
Journal it. Living in the present moment really lends itself to writing something beautiful. Whatever your pleasure-centered activity may be, plan to write about it afterward. You don’t have to follow with immediate journaling if that doesn’t work for your schedule. You can do the quiet activity, then let the experience digest in your mind as the day’s remaining events unfold. When you’re ready, write down what you saw, heard, smelled, even tasted. Talk about how it made you feel. What are you grateful for, in that precious moment?
An attitude of gratitude comes easy when we stop to focus our full attention on the beauty of this world and all its gifts!