Happy Monday to you! I hope that you’ve had a restful weekend that will help you kick start your brand new week on a strong note. However, if you have been really busy at work, finding yourselves working over the weekends, or feeling constantly stressed out by certain circumstances and situations in life, perhaps Monday may not be the favourite day of your week. It’s even harder to find the motivation to search for an intention to get your week started, both on and off the mat.
The Attitude of Gratitude
Gratitude is a concept that I hold close to my heart – simply because I used to be a perfectionist, finding the negativity in every situation that comes my way, be it positive or negative in nature. I found myself being caught in a vicious cycle of negativity, something that I struggled a lot to break out of.
Therefore, I always encourage my students to cultivate an attitude of gratitude – through means and ways that are not only sustainable, but healthful in the long run. Having a habit of taking stock of both the good and bad in life in an objective manner allows us to approach our problems in a much more constructive manner. Rather than seeing the situation as a be-all-end-all kind of situation, we are able to take a step back and understand that things often happen for a reason, and all we need to do is to expand our perspective to consider different alternatives and options.
If you have been thinking of getting started, perhaps these few tips might help you to start cultivating this wonderful habit this week:
1. Keep a gratitude journal
I personally love journaling as an outlet for my own emotions and thoughts. Therefore, when the folks from An Uplifted Day gifted me with this beautiful and very handy Five Minute Journal, I know it’s a sign to start centralising all my thoughts of gratitude into a gratitude journal. The journal includes very helpful guides in helping you kickstart your daily habit of journaling, and as the name suggests, very simple questions to provoke your thought at the start of the day, and at the end of the day as a reminder of the importance of gratitude.
A gratitude journal like this is just one of the examples in which you can write down your own thoughts and emotions. There are gratitude apps for those people who prefer to type it on their mobile phones and laptops. Otherwise, a simple notebook does the job – if you have more time, cut/tear out things that inspire you wherever you’ve read it and include them in your journal as a collage / inspiration board.
2. Choose your responses mindfully
We often find ourselves reacting to situations or people almost immediately. Sometimes we let our emotions get the best of us and we react in certain ways that we find ourselves regretting just moments after. On certain occasions, we may find ourselves losing control of our own emotions and thoughts, and we become controlled by how we feel or how we react right off the bat.
One of the important ways to cultivate a more mindful relationship with yourself is to be able to acknowledge that we often have a choice in terms of how we choose to react in life. Whenever we are able to take a step back when confronted with a tough situation to assess how we can choose to react to this certain scenario, we are often empowered by this choice that we wield.
Similarly, whenever we feel stuck in a seemingly unpleasant situation, being able to take a step back and acknowledge all the good things that we still have in life, however insignificant, can allow us to find a bit more breathing space in the most unpleasant moments in life.
3. Keep up even in bad times
It is often a lot easier to find many things to be grateful for when life seems pretty and smooth sailing. However, the real challenge comes whenever we are caught in stressful, unpleasant, and negative periods of our lives. In order to cultivate a strong habit that will persist for a long time to come, it is important to keep up with the attitude of gratitude even in the most trying periods. Finding little things worth being thankful for allows us to put many things into perspective, and understand that ultimately, being able to wake up to a brand new day full of possibilities is a huge blessing in itself.
I hope this week’s intention assignment will help you kickstart the habit of gratitude that will last for a long time to come! Start small and make small changes to your current daily routine that will allow you to stick with the habit more easily, before thinking about making more substantial changes. Let me know how’s your experience and I will be more than happy to provide more tips and to listen to your experience. Have a great week!