Practicing grateful living has literally been my lifeline since the start of the pandemic. I started out with living in a state of constant gratitude years before, but for obvious reasons, I’ve needed to pull on it more than I ever have. It has helped me to stay hopeful and focus on the good in my life. The truth is, at this particular point, my mental health is scraping the barrel on most days. More so than at the initial onset of this global crisis.
It’s weird because it seems like a lot of my friends and family have reached that place right along with me. Just being truly mentally exhausted. That place where it is taking much more to stay positive about the present and the future.
The ongoing lockowns as well as general social and economic atmosphere have felt particularly heavy and unpredictable. Each day seems to have a game of luck of the draw several times in it. One minute, I feel good and positive, the next I am talking myself down from the edge of an emotional cliff or break down.
Nevertheless, we persist.
It hasn’t been easy though. Despite knowing without a doubt that I am incredibly blessed beyond measure and that things are in fact on the mend, it is hard not to feel like having and entertaining any feeling or thought other than profound gratitude is actually being ungrateful. It’s a Catch 22. There has been so much loss of life and resources, that to have remained untouched directly by it all thus far is a monumental blessing.
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3 Ways to Practice Grateful Living
So how do we balance that? Being Grateful but still acknowledging that our feelings of stress, despair, anxiety and fear are in fact, valid? How do we not absorb everything that is happening to others around us? Practicing grateful living as a lifestyle is my way. It’s not an easy thing to manage, but it is important to me, and maybe it is or can become important to you, too.
1. Find an Anchor
For me, that anchor is my family and God. Each morning, I start the day cuddling my child and loving on my husband, On route, I settle my soul with a very specific playlist, which my four year old daughter now expects and asks for each day.
1. Why We Sing
4. Brighter Day
5. He ReignsMy Kirk Franklin Morning Playlist
2. Count Your Blessings
Literally. Make a list list of things that are good in your life. Start with the most obvious, gratitude for life. As a friend of mine says, ‘Everyday above ground is a good day.’ The idea is that once there is life, there is hope and room for possibilities.
You can write them [your blessings] down on a piece of paper or better yet, keep a gratitude journal. There’s nothing to keep positives at the forefront of your thoughts like having them written down in black and white.
3. Express Gratitude
It’s easier to live a lifestyle of gratitude if you make it a habit to express gratitude to others. Noticing when others have done something good for you, and expressing appreciation for it is one way to foster daily expression of gratitude. I like to express thankfulness when others have done something for me.
There are individuals who feel that expressing and showing appreciation is unnecessary, especially if they think the thing that was done for them is the person’s job or obligation, but I don’t like that. I don’t think life owes me anything and I am grateful for the things I do have. And if someone has done something for me that makes my day or life better in some way or even if they attempted it but didn’t quite succeed, showing gratitude is the least I can do.
Besides, so often, such a simple gesture has the potential to brighten someone mood or even their day. That alone makes it worth it.
I hope these tips of how I maintain a lifestyle of gratitude is helpful to someone, anyone.