Learning to complain less and appreciate more.
Something I have learned as I’ve gotten older is to seek a life of contentment instead of just happiness. Happiness can be fleeting – it is a temporary feeling, but being content is a sense of being. You can be content even when you’re not overly happy. One of the ways I have reached a point of true contentment is through my gratitude practice. It has helped me through bouts of depression and made me appreciate times of joy so much more.
Gratitude is a year round practice!
Gratitude is not something to have just when things are going well or around the holiday season. It is something that should be consciously recognized each day. It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture or publically shared. It is something that is just for you! My favorite ways to express gratitude are:
- Writing it down daily in my Bullet Journal
- Sharing with James each night before we go to sleep
- Throughout my yoga practice
It can be about the little things.
Some days, I am grateful for an endless amount of things. Other days, I am grateful for the minimum – a warm bed to sleep in, food to eat, clean water to drink. One of my favorite quotes is “Every day might not be good, but there is something good in everyday”. And it’s so true! You can always find things you are grateful for. You can always find beauty. Once you truly understand that, you find so much peace in each day. And I truly believe that this has been a saving grace for me for so many years.
Even just a little gratitude each day can help change your whole mindset. Write it down in your journal, on a post-it, in your phone. Say it out loud to yourself, a friend, or your partner. Whatever helps you not sweat the small stuff and focus on the big picture. Anything that gets you to stop complaining about what you don’t have and instead bring your attention to what you do have.
There are absolutely troubles that are valid, no matter how trivial they seem, but actively appreciating all the wonderful parts in your life, no matter how basic, will help you put those troubles into perspective. Try it every day for one week and see your world start to change.