It was a Saturday morning and I woke up early, expressed gratitude and went for an early run around Sloan’s Lake which is right by my home. Currently, I’m recovering from a back injury and that morning’s run was my first “cardio” workout since I hurt my back. I was in a little discomfort during the run, but not too bad, and I ran the entire 3 mile loop in 24 minutes, 24 seconds (it might be 2.8 miles – there is some debate on the distance).
Later on that morning, I had plans to get together with a few friends to kayak on Evergreen Lake. I’ve come to really enjoy the water and since we’re not on the coast or by any beaches, it makes me appreciate lakes and rivers even more. And that’s one of those things I’ve been doing more of these past few months – appreciating those little things that we take for granted.
I appreciate that there is a lake by my home that I can run around. I appreciate that there is a lake in the mountains 30 minutes from my home that I can kayak on. These things make me happy, and perfectly illustrates that when you have more gratitude in your life, you have more happiness in your life.
Here are 7 easy ways to have more gratitude, and happiness, in your life:
1) Keep a Gratitude Journal
Keep it simple and each day write 1-3 things you are grateful for in the morning and in the evening. It will allow you to see more joy and beauty in your days. A lot of people focus on what they don’t have, or complain all day. When you focus on the positive, no matter how small, you attract more positive.
2) Don’t Compare
It’s easy to compare ourselves to others and want what they have. When you do that, you’re not embracing your own unique journey. We’re all on a different life path. Embrace the path you’re on. Embrace your beauty and your uniqueness. As Dr. Seuss said: you were born to stand out. Feel gratitude for who you are and what you have.
3) Appreciate The Simple Things In Life
Trying to figure out what you’re grateful for can seem overwhelming if you’re only focusing on big things. What about the simple things in life? That cup of coffee this morning. The bed you woke up in. That beautiful butterfly you saw on your walk. What about your
ability to walk? Not everyone has that capability. We tend to overlook the simple things in life and take other things for granted. Don’t!
4) Live In The Now
It’s easy to dwell on the negatives of the past or worry about the future. If you can live in the moment and take in everything as they happen, you’ll discover joys that are often overlooked. There are joys of watching your child play, the smell of coffee at the local coffeehouse, the conversation with your friend across the table (instead of checking Facebook) and the smell of rain. Relish and embrace these moments.
5) Flash A Smile
A lot of people don’t smile these days, and often you have to be the one that initiates it. But not only does smiling make you feel good, smiling at someone will make their day too. Smile more and watch how your day can instantly turn around. While you’re at it, give compliments too. Be sincere – find something about the person that you appreciate and let them know.
Give back to your community. Whether you feed the homeless, build a playground for kids or volunteer at an animal shelter, find something that will allow you to make a positive impact in the lives of others. This will make you feel great!
7) Say Thank You
There is a lot of power in these 2 words. When someone does something nice, acknowledge them. Tell them “thank you.” Flash your smile with those words too. Not only will it make you feel better, but it will make their day too. Whether it’s the checkout person at the grocery store or a stranger holding the door open for you, always say “thank you.”
You can take this a step further by mailing thank you cards to people. It’s a lost art, but when someone receives your thank you card, it will make their day.
Ok, it’s time for me to get out and enjoy some nature. Hope you take the time and do so too!
I love that kayak life!