Self Improvement

Do You Feel Your Gratitude?

Gram’s Wisdom Installment 2

My Gram left me after more than a hundred years of living, with an abundance of wisdom and advice. The kind of wisdom all grandmothers want to share if they are blessed with the time and opportunity to do so. Much of this may be known to you, some things you might have forgotten. I hope these bits of homey wisdom spark either memories from your youth or better yet conversations with your own grandchildren.

What are you feeling grateful for today?

I spent many weekends with my grandparents as a child and continued to live nearby as I became an adult. When we would meet Gram would always tell me what she felt grateful for that day. She would say she woke up that morning feeling gratefulness for… or that during the course of the day something occurred for which she felt gratitude. She always displayed her appreciation and gratitude for the good people and things that were a part of her life.

Appreciate the good in your life with a gratitude practice..png

What a difference a little gratitude makes

Gratitude simplified is appreciating the good things in your life. When you are focused on what is good in your life you have less time to dwell on the bad. It doesn’t always seem this simple, though. When things are hectic or stressful, finding the silver lining can be challenging. However, learning how to express gratitude can significantly boost your happiness.  

About gratitude

There are many definitions of gratitude. Some people believe it’s a feeling or emotion. Others look at it as more of a mood. Still, other people believe gratitude is a personality trait a person exhibits. These are all correct. In essence, gratitude elicits satisfaction and appreciation in a person through feelings, actions or even inherent qualities. However, even those of us who may be more inclined to feel grateful on a regular basis may need to work on evoking such an outlook. Gratitude can be viewed as a practice or something you perform regularly. Most people practice something because it benefits them. This is true of gratitude. As with other practices, you’ll get better at demonstrating gratitude the more you work at it.

Benefits of embracing gratitude

There are many benefits of gratitude; many of them have been scientifically proven. Once you begin to understand these, chances are good that you’ll see why it’s so important to develop a grateful mindset. Gratitude can have a positive effect on both physical and mental health. Research has shown it improves relaxation, sleep quality and energy levels. Being thankful for your blessings can enhance your emotional wellness. You’ll deal better in crisis situations and find you’re more resilient when you’re able to look on the bright side. This can contribute to better relationships, too. Appreciating the positives in life can simply make you feel happier.

“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” -Doris Day

Ways to practice gratitude

Recognizing your blessings may not come easily at first, but there are some ways to help make it a habit and a regular part of your routine. One of the most convenient and impactful methods for cultivating appreciation is through keeping a gratitude journal. Write down three things each day that you’re grateful for, which makes it easier to notice and recognize those good things. Making an effort to thank someone each day, for even the smallest thing, opens your eyes and heart to abundance. Giving back and doing good for others can provide tremendous perspective, as well.

Embracing and expressing gratitude are more important than many of us realize. So, what do you feel grateful for today?

I would be grateful if you share this post with someone who will find it beneficial.

Create A Better Mood For Yourself

How is it you wake up some mornings feeling light and marvelous as if the world is your oyster and others as if a heavy dark cloud sits over your head making you want to bite people’s heads off? Why did you go to bed feeling one way and wake up feeling differently?

From early childhood, you understand that you have different feelings. Sometimes you will be in a good mood and other times you won’t. Flip-flop those moods frequently and you get labeled as a moody child. Do you really want to be that person? Why don’t people improve their mood? Is it because parents and teachers told us it’s just the way it is?

Creating your better mood.png

 

Changing How You Feel

Is it possible to create a better mood for yourself and feel better? Absolutely. Can you do the same for others? Sometimes, yes. If it is possible, why isn’t everyone always happy? It seems being happy is preferable to being in a bad mood.

Studies have shown it is possible to improve your mood. It can be as simple as thinking you're in a good mood. If you believe it, your attitude will change. In fact, even when you aren’t in a good mood, the simple act of smiling can perk you up. Act how you want to feel. That smile plus a cheery hello can then lift someone else’s mood. And when they return your smile and greeting it reinforces your own good mood. Before you know it your good mood is spreading like ripples in a pond.

Choose Positive People

If you want to better your mood, start hanging out with upbeat people. There’s nothing like a sourpuss to bring down a group. These cranky people seem to go out of their way to make sure everyone is as miserable as they are. By avoiding these people, you have less chance of being in a bad mood at the start.

Next, create an environment for yourself that lifts your spirits. If a certain type of music gets you pumped, play that music more often. Some people like to burn incense as they feel it can positively alter their moods.

Practice Gratitude

You should reflect on your life and be grateful for what you have. You have a lot to be thankful for if you're in good health. If your family is in good health, you should also be grateful. Your mood will naturally increase towards the positive when you appreciate such things.

Try not to worry about the mundane issues in your life. They are going to happen whether you worry or not. Just take care of them so that they aren’t hanging over your head. Don’t let things build to the point that they become a major matter.

Do What Makes You Happy

It may seem obvious, but do more things that make you happy and less that don’t. It’s not always possible to avoid adverse situations, but you don’t have to allow them to bring your mood down. After all, you control most of the activities in your life.

Sometimes, all that is needed is to change up your routine. If you are doing the same activities day in and day out, this can make anyone feel in a bad mood. Try stepping up your game and do something fun and out of the ordinary. In fact, make it a point to do this at least once every month.

Do You Need To Change Your Attitude

Change Your Attitude

Life hasn’t gone the way you had hoped. You don’t have the sorts of relationships you feel you deserve. You feel stuck in your same dead-end job, in a career you thought had some promise. But nothing has turned out as planned. You believe it just isn’t in your cards to have your dream life. However, what could be the problem is not having the right kind of attitude. You may want to explore changing your attitude and see if that doesn’t result in the improvements you seek for the life that you want.

Changing your attitude.png

 

The first step is to figure out if your attitude could use some adjusting. Do you find people trying to avoid you? Do you have a negative, defeatist, or spoiled attitude? Do you find that you get set off by the smallest incidents? You may have just ignored what people have told you about your having a bad attitude.

Don’t Take the Blame for Everything

The next time you are involved in some incident that goes bad, ask yourself this question. Is this something that was my responsibility? Go through the scenario from the perspective of an outsider observing you. Was there anything you could have done differently that would have changed the result? Think back to what you said or did and see if you were the one responsible.

A quick temper will make a fool of you
— Bruce Lee

You shouldn’t take the blame for everything. If you reach within and discover that others were responsible, then hold them to it. Be honest with this assessment. Just make sure that you have ruled out yourself as the culprit before doing this. If there are some gray areas, be the better person, and be willing to give in a bit.

Accept Both Good and Bad

When you go through this exercise, you will find you are in the wrong more often than you realized. Frequently you tell yourself how things would be better if only “they” would change. Remember there is no use to carp and complain about the attitudes of others. You cannot control this and cannot change them. Once you understand this, you can take the steps necessary to make appropriate changes in yourself. 

Don’t focus solely on the negative parts of your life. Accept both the good and bad. Be proud of all the positive accomplishments in your life and expand on their scope. But be willing to work diligently on changing the negative ones.

Readjust Your Thinking

Changing your attitude is a process. As such, it will take some time to readjust your thinking. You identify that you are not always right and continuously try to do what is necessary to avoid those activities again. When you do avoid them in the future, make sure you recognize that as an achievement as this is an important piece of the process.

Expect that others will recognize your changes when you commit to making them. Your attitude will transform for the better just by going through the process described. You will live a happier more fulfilled life. You will make new friends much more easily, and your present relationships both at home or on the job will be more rewarding.  

For additional tips on how to change your attitude check out this post by Michael Hyatt How a Shift in Your Vocabulary Can Instantly Change Your Attitude

 

Acting The Way You Want To Feel

 

Why Acting How You Want to Feel is Important

We all want to maximize our potential in life, to achieve our goals, be happy and experience fulfillment. In the end, we all want our dreams to come true. The trick is how do we make this happen? There is plenty of information out there as regards to maximizing your potential, reaching your goals, or making your dreams come true. Which bit of information can you believe? Which one is right for you? Better yet, which one works?

 

Your behavior influences your feelings.png

 

One of the best ways to determine what will work for you is through trial and error. You certainly want a technique or program that will provide actual, tangible benefits when you put that information to work. One of the most effective self-improvement techniques out there is acting how you want to feel. Check out this post from the usual bliss ACT the way you want to FEEL.

This technique is based on the simple concept that just as thoughts influence actions, actions have the power to influence thoughts, and by extension feelings. Many of us go through life allowing feelings to dictate our actions. If we feel positive emotions, we take positive actions that achieve the positive results we desire. However, by feeling negative emotions, we take negative actions that cause negative consequences.

We’ve all heard about the power of positive thinking. If you think positively, then you get those powerful, positive results that allow you to reach your goals. The problem is that positive thinking cannot be faked. You can pretend to have a positive attitude. You may fool the outside world that you are actually positive. However, a fake positive attitude cannot fool the real judge – you. Unless you truly experience positive emotions, you will continue to take negative actions and produce negative results. It’s that simple. If you want to learn about the power of positive thoughts check out this post from Mindvalley The Power Of Positive Thoughts.

The theory of positive thinking has actually got the concept completely backward. It’s not positive thinking that’s powerful. It’s actually positive actions that are powerful. You see, when you act in a certain way, your actions have the ability to influence your thoughts. Even if the actions feel forced or awkward, they still have consequences. You still see results from those actions. These results reinforce the strength of those actions. As a result, your actions begin to have an effect on your outlook and your emotions. You begin to feel the way you’ve been acting.

 

What Does It Mean To Act How You Want to Feel?

Have you ever wondered why you feel the way that you feel sometimes? Have you ever done something and then, at a later time, or even immediately wondered why you acted the way you did? If your answer to either of these questions is yes, you’re not alone. We all, at one time, have regretted doing or not doing something, saying or not saying something. The thing is, there is absolutely no reason to have these regrets.

We all, at one time or another, have felt we were being held hostage by our feelings. Negative emotions, prevent us from fully enjoying all the wonderful things that life has to offer. These negative emotions can take many forms – shyness, fear, or lack of confidence to name a few. The thing that they all have in common is that they prevent us from getting those things that we really want.

The key to living a fuller and richer life, one free of those restricting negative emotions, is deceptively simple. It’s so simple that most people reject it out of hand as being too easy, too good to be true. That’s unfortunate because all you need to do to rid yourself of negative emotions is to begin acting how you want to feel.

 

Four Examples of Acting How You Want to Feel

While you might think that your actions follow your thoughts, just the opposite is true. This means that if you can act the way you want to feel, your feelings will follow suit.

Example 1 | Say that you’re shy. You find social situations awkward and uncomfortable. Because of this, you pass up opportunities to get together with other people. Many of these opportunities are events that you really want to attend. You like people and you want them to like you in return. It’s just that your shyness is like a barrier between you and the rest of the world.

All you need to do to eliminate this problem is begin acting confidently, even if you don’t feel confident inside. It’s initially difficult to do, but fairly quickly you find people responding positively to your confident attitude. You begin to enjoy socializing. Acting confident begins to make you feel less shy. Because you act with confidence, you begin to feel confident. All of this occurred because you began to act the way you really wanted to feel.

Example 2 | What does success look like? Very often success looks confident. This means that if you want to appear more successful, you need to act with more confidence. Walk like you own the world. Talk like your dreams are about to come true. When you start to act like you’re successful, you begin to adopt a more successful state of mind. You exude confidence and that confidence changes the way you think. Once you start acting successful, you’ll be surprised at the opportunities life presents to you – opportunities that you’re now mentally ready to take advantage of.

Example 3 | How do you begin to feel healthier? It’s easy. All you have to do is begin acting in a healthy manner. You see while our thoughts have the ability to influence our feeling the opposite is also true. Our actions can also influence our thoughts. So start taking healthy actions. Stop taking elevators. Use the stairs instead. Reject your urge to eat fast or processed food. Start eating fresh, low-fat foods. Soon, you’ll start seeing some amazing changes. You actually are going to start feeling healthier. Why? Because you are healthier. Take a look at my post on Food and Your Health.

Example 4 | If you’d like to feel more happiness in your life, start by simply finding those things that bring you joy, and do more of them! If bird-watching makes you happy – do some birdwatching and watch your feelings accompany your actions! The true key to happiness is allowing yourself the permission to be happy! So find what it is that makes your heart soar – and do it!

I choose happy, and being an introvert I choose unafraid. What will you choose for yourself?