In times of difficulty, I have found it centering to focus on what I am grateful for, rather than adversity. I am grateful for the apples we have; nutritious and flavorful. More of the mid season apples are producing and for that I am grateful. The people we meet, the conversations and connections we make are my favorite part of the orchard.
Happy people focus on what they have, unhappy people focus on what’s missing.
To combat a woe-is-me mentality, I have been guided to find ways to express a grateful heart and count my blessings. I continue to see hearts all around and now Farmer B is finding them and pointing them out. Even in the seemingly darkest of situations, there are things to be grateful for. People have healed themselves from both emotional and physical pain using gratitude.
There are many benefits of incorporating gratitude into your daily life, from being more attractive to others to reduced stress levels and increased overall happiness. If you need help getting on the happiness train, fake it til you make it. It’s an age old trick that actually works! Read here for more of the science behind forcing a smile and a fun study that proves its effectiveness.
Here are a few ways to express a grateful heart… Give it a try!
- Gratitude Journal. Every night before going to bed, focus on three (3) things to be grateful for. Even if it is a warm bed, or a pinky finger that doesn’t feel pain, there is something we can each be grateful for. Focusing on gratitude is calming and centering, a great way to begin a restful sleep.
- Sticky Note Challenge. Carry a few sticky notes (and the pen!) to leave an anonymous note for someone you feel gratitude towards. You can also write notes for situations you are thankful for and keep them around the house or in a notebook.
- Handwritten Note. With the change in technology, most people do not send handwritten personalized notes, but when you do they become THAT much more special. Send a handwritten note to tell someone you love them or just how much you appreciate what they have done.
- Give a Positive Review. So often a bad experience motivates us to write or verbalize a negative review. Imagine how you’d feel if someone went out of their way to say how you positively affected their day! Now go out and do that for someone else. The feeling is contagious.
- Give Back. There are many ways to give back and it all comes back to you in one way or another. A few suggestions include: Donate whether it’s money, time, or unused items, it’s all valuable. Mentor someone in need, teach a new skill or simply share your experience. Provide respite for someone who is in need of a break. Provide companionship for someone who could use some attention and love.
If you are looking for a little guidance to start bringing gratitude into your life, there are many guides to gratitude journaling. Here is one that I found highly recommended.
And finally, thank you to all who have touched my heart! Each person who has crossed my path, has given me something to learn and grow from and for you I am grateful.
Love and gratitude,