The alarm sounds. It’s time to jump into action, do all the morning routine, hurry off to work, grab a quick bite for lunch, back to work, quick dinner, evening routine, fall into bed exhausted, repeat. It’s no wonder The World Health Organization now states that globally 1 in 13 suffer from anxiety. Although you may not be able to control what day to day living throws at you, there are ways to find peace of mind in spite of it all.
One major adjustment many experts agree can help change your mental outlook and make life more enjoyable is to train your mind to focus on the positive things that are happening all the time around you. By acknowledging little things to be thankful for you can move your life focus from your head to your heart. And that’s where the joy is.
Here’s how to train your brain to appreciate life more:
The Time Is Now
Right now, take a look around you. Consider all the little things you have to be grateful for. Jot them down if you can for future reference. Many people who would never consider journaling, which is a wonderfully therapeutic thing by the way, often have an app on their phone or laptop for taking notes. Use it to mention how blue the sky is, or you’re wearing that favorite outfit you bought while shopping with your best friend, or you just had a wonderful, satisfying meal. The cat is purring, the dog is watching you with adoring eyes. It’s all for you, so take a moment to appreciate it before pressing matters cause you to forget.
Decide What’s Important
Grab a blank piece of paper. Write down the most important people and goals of your life. Then take time to appreciate every point of contact, every small achievement made. Reach out to the ones you treasure and make their day. It will make yours, too. Reward yourself for every small victory along the way. Write it in your notes. You’re not failing. Your winning as you let your heart appreciate life and be thankful for every small blessing.
Be On The Move
It’s a proven fact that taking the time for physical exercise can have a huge impact on both body and mental state. Just taking several half-hour brisk walks per week can make all the difference. And getting outdoors can also get you out of your own head. Take note of your surroundings. Appreciate the sounds, the sights, and the activity around you. Appreciate the small things, and the big things fall into place. And again, take literal note of it. Soon you’ll be your own morale booster. See how wonderful you are?
Giving Away the Blues
Do you realize that in performing random acts of kindness, you can give away your mental blahs along with the action? Suddenly the weight of the world is a golden nugget of self-worth. Yes, you are a valuable member of the human race, and at least one other person knows it. Write it down—it’s a red-letter day! Make it your goal to touch at least one life with kindness every day. Sometimes it’s as easy as saying thank you, appreciating that lovely bit of color the store clerk is wearing, picking up the coin that elderly person dropped. Then take a moment to appreciate yourself and the fact that you could!
Unplug Your Processor—Reboot!
Everyone needs to take time to disengage. Turn on the soothing music, open a good book, turn off the phone and shut out the world. Just for a little while, don’t require anything, just remember the good things. Even two minutes of quiet meditation can help you get through a day. A few minutes of gratitude can mean a better night’s sleep. A whole day of quiet taken periodically can help reset your mind for future challenges.
Life is full of wonderful, tiny joys that can be so easy to miss. Take the time to review your journal or notes and appreciate all the good and beautiful moments. These are the important things. Yeah, not everything in life is pretty or easy or comfortable. What you carry with you from one moment to the next becomes your life, and looking back with appreciation and gratitude makes it a life well lived.
Don’t look for perfection in yourself or anyone else. Do appreciate yourself and the good you can do now, and celebrate the chance moments when it all came together and was just, well, right. Appreciate life-enhancing moments. Write them down. Create new moments, enjoy spontaneous ones. Happy today to you!