Begin each day with a grateful heart.
Take a breath and know you’re alive and well. How can you not be grateful for that? Easier said than done. Or should I say, remembered. However, in recent years I’ve noticed more people posting about how grateful they are for the little things in their lives. For me it’s a quiet morning. A cup of tea. A kind word from a stranger. A beautiful blue sky. A trip on the horizon. And the larger things: My amazing husband. Time with my wonderful parents and family. Visiting old friends. My dear kitty cats. Gainful employment. A warm home in winter. Fresh food on the table. Do not overlook the importance of both the core and the simple parts of our lives.
Being grateful brings happiness.
Striving to be grateful automatically makes you an optimist. How about that? Being positive and looking for the good in people and situations will make you happier. Being conscious in the moment is vital to being happy. Continuing this practice will bring more happiness into your life. Believe in karma? Even if you do not, it’s a lovely practice and will help you turn negative situations into positive ones. Happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy!
My husband just had this conversation on Sunday while we were stuck in traffic in Times Square. A bus was blocking the intersection during a green light and taxis and other drivers were going mad. I said, “Well, that should clear the traffic ahead of us.” My husband was amazed at my positivity. It has taken a lot of aggravating situations to get me to this point. I’m not saying that I don’t get mad from time to time but you have to realize when you have no control over something. Let it go and find a positive spin.
The act of criticizing or judging someone or something else is negative. It’s easy to fall into a rut like that when you’re unhappy. Ever listen to someone complain about something trivial? Think about how that made you feel. Stop and take a beat next time you’re compelled to say something negative. Purposely practicing acts of kindness will make you happier and hasten the need to point out something negative.
Take a breath. Slow it down. I have lived in a big city for many years now but still sometimes get overwhelmed in certain situations. Rushing along the street or standing out in traffic ready to run across the street instead of waiting for the walk sign can make anyone anxious. Sometimes taking a breath and walking a little slower and with purpose can calm us right down. Take in your surroundings and enjoy the sunshine on your face (use sunscreen of course!). Step aside and let the crowd pass you and walk at your own pace.
Practices like yoga and meditation go a long way to bringing peace into your life. Taking specific time for yourself to concentrate on your well being will help you slow down and be calm. Take a few moments each morning or evening to jot down what you are grateful for in your life. Spending five minutes meditating to start or end the day is a tremendous way to inspire calm in your heart.
And sometimes we just need to have a little fun! Last week our cat Fiona was talking away to me. She has always been vocal but since we lost her older brother Pea in April, she has been all the more clingy and talkative. She was very playful so I started racing up and down the hall of our apartment with Fiona hot on my heels. We were both having so much fun that if she could laugh, I’m sure she would have been roaring. It made me so grateful for such an unbridled happy and silly moment.
How do you begin each day? What are you grateful for in your life? Wishing you a peaceful day!