Lift your mood with this 5-day gratitude challenge

That said, you don’t need an everyday turkey dinner with all the fixing dishes to be grateful for. It’s about training the gratitude muscle in your daily routine through simple activities to cultivate and express gratitude.

Like any skill worth mastering, gratitude needs practice to reach its full potential. Scientists have found that daily doses of gratitude provide benefits beyond feelings of happiness, extending to enhanced relationships, self-esteem, and general life satisfaction. .

To start honing your gratitude skill and start making it an ongoing practice, take my five-day gratitude challenge. Here’s how to get started.

People often focus their gratitude on material things that they associate with status, such as a car or a luxurious piece of clothing. Being glad you have those items isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but materialism is linked in research lowers life satisfaction and reduces the likelihood of truly feeling grateful. To keep focusing on the simplest yet profoundly valuable aspects of life, we begin our challenge by showing gratitude to one of our five senses: sight. .
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On a pad or in a journal, complete this prompt:

Today, I’m grateful for these three things I saw…

Your answer could be as simple as: my own reflection in the mirror, my beloved, and the sunset. Maybe today you had an experience that made you grateful for your vision and perception, such as seeing your neighbor’s dog defecating near the street and telling your neighbor before something tragic happened.

Each day during the challenge, take time each evening to write down three reasons why you are grateful for one of your five senses that day.

Day 2: Cultivate gratitude with every breath

Want to feel grateful? Take one breath, or in this case 10 breaths.

We all know that without the breath there is no life. That’s a great reason to be grateful.

To cultivate gratitude for our ability to live and breathe, practice this easy 10 breaths of gratitude meditation, following the simple instructions below:

Sit comfortably, place your feet on the floor and close your eyes. Place your hands in your lap or place them on your lower ribs as in This video:

Close your eyes and begin to inhale and exhale through your nose, stretching and deep breathing at a pace that feels comfortable and sustainable. As you establish a long and deep breath, take a minute to think about the magic of the breath and how it literally fills your body with life.

When you’re ready, on your next inhale, imagine a color you associate with gratitude and let it fill your mind as you fill your lungs with air.

As you exhale, imagine the color and feeling of gratitude spreading down your neck, chest, torso, and limbs, disappearing as you finish the exhalation.

Silently count the number “one” in your head.

Repeat this same visualization, synchronized with each breath, until you have counted 10 breaths.

To practice gratitude with your five senses during the day, complete this reminder:

Today, I am grateful for three things that I have touched/felt….

Day 3: Reflect on the gifts of hardship

There’s no doubt that life can be challenging, as things don’t always turn out the way we expect. Unfortunately, we all experience adversity and suffering at different times in our lives. It can seem difficult to reflect on trying times and find reasons to be grateful, but when we turn our pain into purpose, we can find meaning in the experience.

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In his book “Man’s Search for Meaning in the Holocaust”, Viktor Frankl wrote, “The way a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it has to endure, the way he carries his cross, giving him many opportunities – even under the most difficult circumstances – to add deeper meaning to his life.”

To practice gratitude today, take a page from Frankl’s book and reflect on a particularly difficult time in your life that you consider a tragedy, failure, or mistake. Identify three takeaways from that experience that you can truly appreciate.

Remember to also keep up with your five-sensory gratitude focus by completing this reminder:

Today, I am grateful for three things that I heard today….

Day 4: Express gratitude to others in writing

Who are the three people in your life that you really appreciate?

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Send each of them a quick but thoughtful letter in the form of a handwritten note, email, or even a carefully drafted text. Remind them of why they are special to you and how valuable they are in the world. As a result of your efforts, those at the end receive the mood-boosting benefits of being appreciated.

They will not be the only beneficiaries; Writing thank you letters has a positive effect on the author, increasing feelings of happiness and life satisfaction while reducing depression, learn displayed.

Don’t forget to write down three things to remind your five-sense gratitude:

Today, I’m grateful for these three things I tasted…

Day 5: Notice and appreciate the little things

An important aspect of practicing gratitude regularly is being aware of opportunities throughout the day to express gratitude. Today, announce and verbally acknowledge at least twice that someone has provided a service or performed a small act of kindness towards you.

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Whether it is a service provider, co-worker, friend or family, there are many people in our lives who act to meet our needs. These actions could be a delivery person bringing your package to your door, a co-worker assisting at work, or your significant other bringing you coffee. Once you start acknowledging their efforts, you can do a better job of consistently showing your appreciation and reciprocating in kind.

Furthermore, studies have shown that the benefits of gratitude extend to both the giver and the receiver. This may be especially true in romantic relationships, where experiencing and expressing gratitude for the little things increases feelings of connectedness and relationship satisfaction, according to research.

Finally, end your five-sensory gratitude practice by focusing on your sense of smell. This is sometimes a bit more difficult as it requires you to actually pay attention to the positive aromas in your environment instead of the negative ones, where we normally pay attention.

Complete this prompt:

Today, I’m grateful for these three things I smelled…

Enjoy the change in perspective and keep practicing every day

After completing the challenge, hopefully you’ll be inspired by the mood-boosting benefits you’ve experienced and inspired others over the past five days and continue to actively practice gratitude. daily in the future.

Dana Santas, known as “Mobile Builder, “is a certified strength and conditioning expert and fitness trainer in professional sports, and the author of” Practical Solutions to Lower Back Pain. “


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