We're living in some pretty difficult times. High-stress levels, constant pressure, difficulty to focus - the list goes on. It's a world full of distractions that can often be confusing and bring negative feelings about ourselves and the lives we lead. These past few years have brought a new world we were not prepared for and has led to a feeling of heaviness, dissatisfaction, and frustration as we expect the return of ‘normalcy’.
We can feel overwhelmed and overstimulated by everything around us - family, obligations, social media, work. With all of this, it's hard to stay in a positive mindset. If you feel your mind searching for some relief, I've shared some ways how you can negate some of these negative feelings and practice gratitude.
My number #1 favorite. A popular technique with many different approaches. I love to start my day by writing 3 things I'm grateful for. When you do this practice, you may find that even if the events in your life do not change, your attitude towards them will. You may feel just that little bit lighter. If you have negative feelings, thoughts, you have the power to create positive ones also. Finding gratitude brings new opportunities.
A psychologist called Benjamin Hardy writes about how gratitude changes 3 fundamental things, our past, present, and future. Waking up in the morning you have the option to trigger a mental and emotional state that will continue throughout the rest of your day.
Give yourself just 5 minutes of intentional gratitude and visualization to shift your brain to operate on a higher frequency throughout your day.
Transforming your past
Many people live in what Dan Sullivan, a strategic coach calls “The Gap and Gain”. You're living life determined by someone or something else. Something always appears to be missing, no matter what happens, and when you do achieve something, you feel it could have been better. The Gain is when you determine your own life, you decide what success means to you with no outside influences. To practice owning this mindset try not to measure yourself against your ideal self, measure yourself against where you used to be, and realize how far you've come from that point. Try not to be emotionally attached to the outcome and focus on the achievement, you will begin to see the progress. At the end of your day, reflect and notice what your greatest gains were for that day.
Rather than seeing your past as something holding you back, see your past experiences as a tool propelling you forward.
Transforming the present
Shift your perspective on your present circumstances. It is rare that we ever feel we are living our ideal lives, there will always be small or large inconveniences. The reality is that perfect circumstances do not really exist. The issue is not our circumstances but rather how we perceive them. We as human beings need challenges in our lives to push us forward and grow.
Focus on the good in your life now. Have gratitude for the people, having a roof over your head, access to clean water, and healthy food. You have access to resources that many, many others do not. A big part of transforming your present is to appreciate it. Appreciate the little things and the big things.
Benjamin Hardy talks about focusing on your capability, if you feel you want to change something or you need a change in your life then you have the capability to change it. Put your energy into creating that change and make it happen for yourself.
Have gratitude for the opportunity to move forward, to grow, and to change your present if you want to do so.
Transform your future
If you already practice morning meditation, great! If not, give it a go. This is the perfect time for visualizing what you want to experience and completely personify gratitude. A visualization is a powerful tool and the more you believe the more it becomes true to life.
What would you like to happen in your life? What would you like to experience? Are you happy with where you are right now and are you consciously creating experiences you want to have?
Our emotional state is central to what we create in our lives and therefore our future. Finding peace with what you have, your current life, will enable you to have the power to face the challenges in the future that will bring you closer to your dreams.
You are living your life and creating your own experiences. You decide what impact your past has on you now. You determine how you see your future. Your circumstances do not define your future. Only how you perceive them and your capacity to realize your future.
Focus on what you can do, put one foot forward each day, see what happens.