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Practicing Grateful Living as a Lifestyle

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.

practicing grateful living

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.

You May Also Like: 7 Things I’m Grateful For in 2020

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

2. Revolution

3. Hosana

4. Brighter Day

5. He Reigns

My 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.

grateful living

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.

What about you? How to you practice loving a lifestyle of gratitude?

Xo, Shandean,

Shandean Reid

Millennial Family Woman, Lifestyle Entrepreneur and Multidisciplinary Writer.

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13 COMMENTS

  • Bianca

    I love this! I’ve been wanting to work on being more positive and expressing my gratitude more. I find that it’s easier to be negative sometimes, but obviously a lot more rewarding to be positive and uplifting! Great post 🙂

    • Shandean Reid
      AUTHOR

      I’m glad you liked it! Thanks for reading.

  • trinimomindmiddle

    Oh yes! The pandemic has forced me to self-examine more and gratitude definitely is at the forefront.

  • Teya D-Globetrotter

    Love this, and #2 (literally creating a list)…. I’m on it

    • Shandean Reid
      AUTHOR

      I’m happy to hear it! Thanks for reading!

  • Amanda

    Wonderful read! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Official Desarae

    I am going through the feels of feeling good and positive one day and then like you said the next I am a big blob with ehh feelings. I am working on getting out of this funk and phase and remembering to count my blessings through this pandemic. Thank you for this awesome post!

    • Shandean Reid
      AUTHOR

      You’re welcome. Thank you for reading!

  • Nella

    Gratitude is definitely a must. I definitely lean into gratitude whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed. These are some really great tips.

  • danielle pitter

    I went through a similar period where I didn’t know how to stay grateful and what helped me was keeping an anchor like you said. my anchor was my family and friends, my life coach and former therapist. these people specifically keep me grounded when i’m feeling down or not enough.

    • Shandean Reid
      AUTHOR

      That’s great. Just keep on keeping on. We’ll make it! Thanks for reading.

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