When was the last time you gave someone a sincere thank you for doing something? When was the last time you received a sincere thank you for helping another? I bet it made you smile and feel good to be recognized and appreciated, if even for just a split second.
Life continually throws out challenges to us, and we have had our share thrown at us. With every challenge comes an opportunity to grow and an opportunity to find gratitude and compassion. Finding the positive in the challenges we are all faced with in everyday life is a bit of a skill. Once learned, however, the method has a ripple effect upon yourself and those you cross paths with.
Everyone is wired differently which means how you are able to source the positive, spread it and continue mastering your skill is as individualized as you are. Here are some great starting points to look into:
Notice the little things
Take time to notice and appreciate the power of the little things. Begin by planning to take a moment each day to stop, reflect and think about what went right and helped to positively impact you. Build on it. Soon, you will be able to reflect on those individual moments more intentionally.
Be the inspiration
Having a positive attitude opens more opportunities. Be the person who walks into a room with a smile. Others notice and it helps calm them and encourage them to smile back. Take the time to tell someone you appreciate them, even if you think they know. Write a note or draw a little happy face and leave it somewhere to surprise another with later. These are all little things that do not cost anything, however, generate a wealth of positive emotional impacts.
Set yourself up for mini successes
Attitude is everything when it comes to gratitude and a positive start to the day can have a huge influence over how you tackle obstacles effectively. Take a moment to breathe and think about the positives in your life. Finding the positives will help you to achieving the cup half full Vs. a cup half empty attitude. There is power in positive thinking – just try it!
Here are a couple of ideas on how to add a kick of positively to start your day
Prep the night before: start your morning routine the night before. You know you are going to want coffee/tea and a wholesome breakfast to get you going when you wake up. Make sure the pot is cleaned, you have milk for your cereal and prep the night before. These are small items you can control and help you to gain a positive start to your day.
Be the motivator: be your own self-motivator and write yourself a note with words of encouragement such as "you've got this" or "only two sleeps until the weekend – breathe…you are almost there" and stick it on your mirror so you see it first thing.
Surround yourself with great people: surround yourself with those who help to uplift you and shake-off the mini frustrations of life.
Liven up work and home: brighten up your living/workspace by adding a live plant, finding a great written quote to display that inspires you, or introduce a pop of colour to add life.
Living a life of gratitude is an understanding that relationships, not material things, are what help bring deep-seeded and lasting joy. Quite often a combination of the smallest occurrences throughout a day have the largest lasting impact. There will always be challenges, the question is, how are you going to approach them? It takes one moment, one drop to start a ripple effect in compassion. Be the drop, or at the very least, carry on the ripple when it passes your way.